By Nia Nelson, Junior
The Hate U Give is a current movie based on the novel The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. The Hate U Give is directed by George Tillman Jr., who intended the film to reflect the racial injustice and police brutality issues in America. The film is about an African American teen by the name of Starr Carter who is torn between two identities.
Starr Carter is from Garden Heights, a predominately African American neighborhood that is a economically depressed community. Starr is also a student who attends a predominately white school, Williamson Prep, and when she’s in school, she changes the way she acts. Starr narrates in the movie in third-person: “Starr doesn’t give people any reason to call her ghetto.” Starr is forced to change her personality to fit in at school, to not be judged by her peers because she is an African American teen that comes from poverty.
One of the most important conflicts and scenes in the film is the interaction between an African American teen, Khalil, and a law enforcement officer. The incident happens (as every trailer/preview shows) as Khalil, a long time childhood friend of Starr’s, offers her a ride home from a party. They are pulled over by a police officer, and Khalil is authorized to step out of the vehicle when the tragedy strikes. It was heartbreaking and gut wrenching for Starr to witness the death of Khalil by the hands of an officer.
The rising action of The Hate U Give is about the justice Starr fights for Kahlil. However, the only issue with this is that she is torn between multiple decisions that can affect her negatively. The consequences are between revealing that she is the witness, where she may be judged or threatened for voicing her beliefs. The other consequence are the threats coming from the connection of her neighborhood’s gang, King Lords, which Starr’s father was a previous member.
Racial injustice and police brutality is a serious and current issue in America that has sparked controversy and movements for justice. The Hate U Give conveys a clear representation and message of what is occurring today in America’s society relating to the police brutality. The film teaches the audience about morality, unity, justice, having a voice, and making a change. From the film, it is expressed, “Violence, brutality, it's the same story just a different name.” This is a very powerful saying because police brutality--often by white male officers to innocent African Americans--isn’t a new issue, and it is sad how many people have been victims to these tragic killings. Names like Eric Garner, Tamir E. Rice, Michael Brown, Oscar Grant III (portrayed in the movie Fruitvale Station), Freddie Gray, and Trayvon Martin (one of the most controversial ones that initiated the Black Lives Matter Movement), ones that are very similar because of these heinous crimes committed by law enforcement. How can we put our trust and lives in the hands of law enforcement when they aren’t solving or preventing problems but causing them? We see them as the protectors of our community.
George Tillman Jr. does a masterful job at providing an inside perspective of Starr as the witness to a homicide committed by police. The movie does not stray away from presenting a realistic representation of the conceivable effects of what happens in these kind of situations or incidents. Amandla Stenberg stages a great performance with her character Starr’s reaction to the incident which makes it even more impactful and naturalistic. Amandla presents intensity of emotion that it is believable. The movie did a fantastic job at covering the subject and delivers the performance so excellently. The Hate U Give is an exceptional movie in the drama genre that brings intensity and real life circumstances to the audience.
The Hate U Give is a film that I personally highly recommend for people to see. This movie is rated PG-13 because of language and traumatic violence throughout the movie. This means the respectable audience can view and should watch this movie. I give this movie a 4.8 out of 5 stars.