“The Hate U Give,” Directed by George Tillman Jr, 129 Minutes
It’s a young adult movie made from a young adult novel. I am not at all sure how African American moviegoers will view it, but it’s a great introductory course on Black Lives Matter for the rest of us.
As you can figure out from the trailer, the story is about how teenagers are affected when a white police officer shoots an unarmed young Black man. It’s an unfortunately familiar problem. The film’s treatment is pretty strong, even though some might say it isn’t strong enough, and it covers many aspects of racism today. That makes it really worthwhile.
Luckily, it’s also a very fine movie. The screenplay is tight, the pacing is about right, the cinematography and the music jell together well, and the actors are simply wonderful. No matter what anybody thinks of the movie, I doubt they will be able to resist the unfathomable charm of the young star played by Amandla Stenberg.
It makes all the sense in the world that her character’s name is “Star.” Her siblings, too, have empowering names that help carry the plot along. Coincidentally, the actress’s name, Amandla, also carries a lot of punch. The word “Amandla” means “Power.” It is explained on Wikipedia.
When a movie is this enjoyable, it’s hard to remember that it’s also timely and important.