Where a teenage girl is constantly switching between two worlds... Speaking on the act of code-switching, which is when you're turning 'it' on and turning it 'off'... referring to one's blackness.
It is a film inspired by the book 'The Hate U Give' written by Angie Thomas. She happens to be a huge fan of rapper, Tupac as well. While writing this book Thomas was able to find a connection with the term "THUG LIFE" and events taking place in today's society such as: gang violence, black on black crime, white crime, police brutality and a 'corrupt' system.
When attending #NABJ18 in Detroit, #MelodicallyInTune sat in on the Arts and Entertainment Taskforce, 20th Century Fox Presents a Clips & Conversation Reception where director of the film, George Tillman Jr. spoke with moderator Roland Martin and fellow journalists and other professionals about the movie schedule to hit all theaters on October 19.
The main character, Starr Carter played by Amandla Stenberg is constantly reassured that her father Maverick Carter (Russell Hornsby) did not name her Starr for no reason and that not everyone was giving the same superpowers.
The Carter's (Regina Hall, wife/mother), growing up in Garden Heights only wants a better life for their family. Starr and her siblings Seven (Starr's half brother) and Sekani were all given unique names with a special meaning. None of them attended their "neighborhood school" because the only thing people do there is either get jumped, high or pregnant. Starr's parents sent them off to a predominantly white private school called Williamson.
"Our live is here [Garden Heights] because our people are here."
Garden Heights was one world but the school they actually attended was another. For instance, talking slang makes white people seem cool but for Starr it would only make her hood.
"We have not been trained to be unapologetically black"
-Roland Martin, NABJ18 Convention
The director Tillman Jr. faces these same experiences until this very day.
In the movie he wanted to display that Starr could have a white boyfriend, black best friend and still live the best of both worlds. He continues on to say "be who you are, don't be afraid of being who you are!"
We must have conversations about black and white people so that things can keep getting better and we can keep moving forward.
It's a movie displaying that "where you live does not define who you are." At one point within the movie, Starr feels as if she has to be quiet so she don't seem like a poor girl from the hood who just now saw her friend get killed.
At a point within the movie, Starr's uncle Carlos (Common) plays the role of a cop and states how the views of police officers are different and that we live in a complicated world. After being given two different scenarios, most people as in white people when dealing with blacks being pulled versus dealing with someone else white they "don't see it as a crime but another traffic stop gone wrong."
One of the incidents Tillman used as motivation amongst completing this film was the Philando Castile, who was a 32 year old man at the time who got pulled over in Falcon Heights, Minnesota and shot to death by a cop.
Within the movie it shows how it's "Just US for justice." Us meaning black people... Starr has to deal with the fact that her second life of people doesn't understand the seriousness of what happened to her best friend Khalil (Algee Smith) and being black in America.
"Violence brutality, it's the same story just a different name."
"Division is how they win unity is how they crumble."
The concept of acting black but still keeping the same white privilege isn't an option for black people.
Director Tillman Jr. presented this film to 20th Century Fox Pictures by telling them it's not only about the things that are happening right now today in society geared towards police brutality but also displays personal growth, love, respect, relationships amongst others and yourself...
Watch the official trailer of The Hate U Give.
The entire movie is heartfelt and had us in tears drowning in our feeling with a remarkable ending.