Writing at Variety, Ricardo Lopez rightfully identifies a 2018 theatrical trend I missed, of black filmmakers writing and directing socially-conscious movies, telling stories from a perspective and through characters that are unique to their experiences.
Within that there’s a more specific group of movies that deal head-on in some manner with the forces and circumstances that have, over the last few years, spurred the Black Lives Matter movement by focusing on stories about police brutality in black neighborhoods or, in some cases, the killing of black people by white police officers.
Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs wrote and star in this story of what happens when Collin (Diggs) gets out of prison and tries to turn his life around while still hanging around his best friend Miles (Casal) in Oakland. The trailer makes it clear the movie is full of themes touching on how ex-cons are treated as second class citizens, police harassment and consequence-free shooting of black people and more.
Monsters and Men
The residents of New York’s Bed-Stuy neighborhood all react differently to an incident where the shooting of an unarmed black man by the police was filmed and spread widely. The trailer presents the stories of some of those characters, all of whom are dealing with what happened in various ways, including a police officer who tries to see all sides of the situation.
The Hate U Give
Based on the bestselling book, the story focuses on Starr (Amandla Stenberg), a young woman with lots of potential who goes from her neighborhood to a high-end magnet high school. When a boy who’s crushing on her is shot during a routine traffic stop Starr, as we see in the trailer, is motivated to speak out against the brutality that’s part of everyone’s existence, though many want her to stay quiet and not draw additional attention on her or them.
Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.