Fruitvale Station

5/5 stars
fruitvale_station-2482242I’ve been telling myself lately I should watch more multi-cultural movies. Fruitvale Station could fit into that category with the other culture meaning black youth culture. Beyond that however, it’s a portrait and celebration of life. The subject matter may not always indicate that but a study under the surface does. I was happy to see this one on Netflix streaming. I think it’s so cool that I can get great movies here at home on my tv for the base price I pay for Netflix every month. The film starts out with a protagonist trying to make it in life with a girlfriend and child of his own. He’s only 22 so it’s no wonder he faces obstacles. We travel through 3/4 of the movie with him facing these obstacles with mixed success. He loses his job at the grocery store for being late and yet helps a customer get the fish for her party the very same day. He has a good heart but he is hindered. We find out at the end it is a true story. It can stand as a true story for so many young black men trying to make life work for them.

You cringe at what he does just like we all cringe at what young men we know do or say. It’s a product of their age and frustration. Young black men face obstacles unique to their ethnicity. But our protagonist is faithful to his girlfriend, at least after some mistakes, and even tells her he wants to start off new with a clean slate after telling her he lost his job. To get a more rounded view of the world, you can use the tool of movies lie this one. Young black men will identify. The rest of us get a window into the world of a young black man. Along the way we peer into the perspective of those who love him: his girlfriend, his mother, and sister. To watch and learn from Fruitvale Station is to be human. I give it the full five stars because it 100% succeeds in what it sets out to do: tell the story. Fruitvale Station is a very riveting and touching human movie.