(I wrote this review for the National Catholic Reporter after seeing the film at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2013 where it took top honors).
Feature directed by Ryan Coogler, starring Octavia Spencer, Michael B. Jordan, Chad Michael Murray
Just after midnight on the morning of Jan. 1, 2009, a fight broke out on the BART subway system as it pulled into the Fruitvale stop in Oakland, Calif. When the transit police arrived, the fight subsided, but the cops pulled off several black men who looked like perpetrators and made them sit along a wall, pointing Tasers at them. The men were resisting, but not in a threatening way. Oscar, who was on parole but clean and not drunk, was obviously worried. A cop pulled out a gun and shot him. Oscar was taken off life support a few hours later, and the shooting was almost immediately ruled a homicide. This happened because many cellphone videos of the police kicking the men and then shooting Oscar were on YouTube practically before the EMTs got Oscar to the hospital.