Run time: 133 mins
An affecting adaptation of the bestselling novel, The Hate U Give explores a teen’s activist awakening after witnessing the horrors of police brutality.
Starr Carter (a powerful performance by Amandla Stenberg) finds her identity split between home life in her predominantly black neighbourhood, Garden Heights, and the wealthy (mostly) white private school she attends. Well-versed in code-switching, she presents different versions of herself to adapt. Yet when she witnesses the shooting of her childhood friend Khalil (Algee Smith) the disconnect between Starr’s worlds shatters. Driven home from a house party by Khalil, the pair are pulled over. Remembering ‘the talk’ given by her dad (Russell Hornsby) instructing her how to survive when stopped by the cops, she puts her hands on the dashboard. When Khalil foolishly reaches for a hairbrush!? he is shot (of course!) and Starr is handcuffed next to her dying friend. As his death ignites national outrage, Starr is conflicted by the politics of speaking up. Stenberg praises the “timeless way the story portrays #BlackLivesMatter and brings empathy and humanity to these experiences.” Inflected with youthful romance and humour, it is both entertaining and deeply moving. (research Rachel Williams) An intelligent film, not cut and dried or over-cliched. Come.