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Rated R · 85 minutes · 2013

The dramatization of the killing of 22-year-old East Bay resident Oscar Grant III by BART police in the early hours of New Year’s Day, 2009 has all the makings of a histrionic trial by pathos. But in the cool, calm hands of rookie filmmaker Ryan Coogler, the final day of Grant’s life takes on meaning as we get to know him (played by actor Michael B. Jordan), his girlfriend (Melonie Diaz), his relatives, his associates, and the rhythms of their experiences. The drama — with added characters, notably a woman (Ahna O’Reilly) who meets Oscar at a supermarket — gives a notorious, politicized crime a recognizable human face. But it also provides a needed lesson in what it means to be “underclass,” “ghetto,” poor, profiled, under suspicion, etc. Written and directed by Coogler. (85 min.)
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Director: Ryan Coogler
Producer: Forest Whitaker, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Michael Chow, Lisa Kleiner-Chanoff, John Kwok and Octavia Spencer
Cast: Michael Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz, Ahna O'Reilly, Kevin Durand, Chad Michael Murray, Joey Oglesby, Laurel Moglen, Liisa Cohen, Ariana Neal, Alex Garcia, Noah Staggs, Caroline Lesley and Christina Elmore

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