Tackling Issues of Racism and Police Brutality in America
Adapted from Angie Thomas book of the same name, The Hate U Give (THUG) brings police brutality to the forefront and how it affects everyone. Angie Thomas writing her book after the real-life shooting of Oscar Grant. The film portrays a young African American girl Starr witnessing her childhood friend Khahil get murdered wrongfully by a policeman after pulling them over after a party. Starr has to decide either stand up and tell the world what happened or sit in silence and let this situation keeping on repeating itself. Particular in 2018 media has been dominated by people condoning police brutality and the mistreatment of black people. Childish Gambino’s This is America, the film BlacKKKlansman showing how there are still white supremacists in the world and Nike supporting Colin Kaepernick, the American footballer player, who took a knee in a protest to the harsh treatment to black people in America.
A young Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), and her two brothers are getting told what they should do if a policeman confronts them by there father (Russel Hornsby). He tells them that they should comply and put their hands face down and let the people search them and cooperate as much as possible.
An older Starr, who lives in a poor neighbourhood ran by a drug lord called King (Anthony Mackie) attends a white-dominated school so she can avoid the violence of going to school in her poor area. In this school, she hangs around with people who act ‘black’ as she tries not to act ‘black’ as she does not want to be known as a ghetto girl. Outside of school, she tries to not bring any of the way how she acts in her school to her neighbourhood. She avoids seeing her boyfriend Chris after school or letting him come to her house as she fears he will not like what he sees. Instead, she hangs around with her half-sister who takes her to a party.
At this party, Starr is just about to leave when she sees her former crush and childhood friend Khahil (Algee Smith) who she talks to until a gunshot is heard. They run to his car and drive away to get to safety. Khahil stops the car on the way to taking Starr home, where they reminisce about their childhood together and share a kiss, only for Starr to say she has a boyfriend. He goes to take her home when they are pulled over by a policeman, Starr continuously reverts to what her dad told her to do, telling Khahil to do the same. However, Khabib is more relaxed and goes to grab his hairbrush. The police think Khahil is pulling a gun out and fires 3 shots at him killing him in the process while Starr sits in the driver’s seat.
Review – Analysis
The Hate U Give is a great film through its great acting and its real hard-hitting storyline currently ravaging a nation.
A particular scene I would like to point out is when Starr is talking to her policeman uncle Carlos (Common) about what a policeman sees. Carlos goes through what a policeman says and does when confronting an assailant. He says how without a thought, he will kill a black person if they go to grab something, while he would hesitate before shooting a white person in the same situation. It suggests police of America see colour and black as violence. They are scared of black people and see them as dangerous with no real reason. Of course, black people can be dangerous but no more threatening than anyone else in the world.
Media also plays a part in the film as Starr stops her dad getting wrongly arrested through her recording the police manhandling her father. Every time Starr talks to the media, they also focus more on that Khahil was selling drugs rather than the policeman shooting a civilian without being provoked. The media also provoking sympathy towards the cop who shot Khabib creating him in a better light and making out he is the victim in all of it.
African Americans fear cops which is not right as Starrs father teachers them what to do if a policeman pulls them over like it is expected to happen. Again, when talking to Carlos, Carlos suggests he sees a black man with a girl, he sees them planning against him, the girl is a hooker or the car is stolen. Fear is what drives both sides causing a never-ending cycle of cops killing innocent African Americans.
The film ends after the cop who kills Khahil is not taking to trial after Starr gives her statement to the court, they protest in the street. It intends that most of the policeman who kill African-Americans unlawfully go unpunished or do not get enough time. Also that the protests of Black people do not mean anything as they will just be broken up by the police through over the top force. After the protest, Starr saves her younger brother from getting killed as the police point their guns at him after he points his at King, who is about to shoot his dad. The police and the community then work together to improve the community, the police arresting the drug lord after people have giving their testimonies on him.
The film made me thank God I do not live in the USA.
Leave a comment if you have read the book and what you think of it