When Starr witnesses a cop shooting of her best friend after a random traffic stop, her already less than simple life only gets more complicated. One of the few non-white faces at her private school, should she choose to hide her involvement in the tragedy or risk being tagged ‘ghetto’? As she faces pressure to stand up for her community, she will also discover that her friends are not immune to racism, on either side.
I probably wouldn’t have chosen to go see this film, which made it a very good choice – for me – for the Cineworld Secret Screening 9. I’d never heard of the book it’s adapted from, either, although the story is all too familiar, from newspapers and real life.
The drama here is done well. By pitching the story from the angle it does, it’s not just about racism – which makes the message there all the more powerful. Subtly, we’re (I speak as a pasty white Scot, and the audience at my screening was much the same) forced to confront that even trying to be overtly not racist doesn’t deal with the underlying biases in society – and that’s from both the white and black characters in this movie. I particularly liked the response to the common comment, “I don’t see colour” – wow.
The reason I generally avoid dramas like this is that life is hard enough and I prefer my cinema to provide escapism. This is a little too intense for my tastes, and perhaps a little bit over-earnest. Still, valid message and done well.
Released: 22nd October 2018
Viewed: 8th October 2018
Running time: 120 minutes
My rating: 8/10