20th Century Fox’s film “The Hate U Give” directed by George Tillman Jr. is an absolutely captivating look at racial injustice in America among young adults. Very similar to Tillman’s previous film, “Men of Honor,” he presents the reality of African American lives and racism.
Adapted from Angie Thomas’ 2017 novel, the story follows Starr Carter, portrayed by Amandla Stenberg, who balances two contrasting worlds in her life. One world features her family living in an all-black and African American neighborhood called Garden Heights. She has a strong relationship with the community there and calls the neighborhood her home. The other world features a fancy all-white prep school where she feels disconnected to the community and acts differently than she would at home.
Both of Starr’s worlds flip upside down when she witnesses the death of her friend Kahlil, portrayed by Algee Smith, by police brutality. This traumatizing experience causes Starr to realize there are serious social problems in America and empowers her to speak up against the recurring problem in society.
Police brutality was represented in the film accurately compared to videos and pictures we’ve seen on the news today and back then. Tillman showcased the perspective on police brutality from everyone of all races in the film, including police, students and parents. Tillman also included real-life movements that the characters were part of or referred to, such as “Black Lives Matter,” “White Privilege” and “Blue Lives Matter.”
Throughout the film, Starr witnessed several other problems besides police brutality including drive-by shootings, neighborhood drug dealings and obscene racism. Each character made the film believable, presenting strong emotions in every scene.
Overall, the movie is a must-see and constantly has you on the edge of your seat. Although there are a few scenes that will have you sobbing, the film showcases the reality of racial problems that still surface in America. It is important to know the reality of police brutality and how protesting for hope and a change could make an impact on society. This includes understanding the aftermath that is not displayed on the news such as grief and sadness.