Over the past few years, Hollywood has taken a bold step by creating films that depict several angles of the relationship between black and white people. This change in film themes over the past several years has sparked conversations amongst Americans from all walks of life. Released on October 5, “The Hate You Give,” has become yet another movie that smarks the uncomfortable conversation about race relationships.
Based on the best selling book by Angie Thomas, this coming of age movie discusses issues such as Black Lives Matter, gang violence and white privilege. When the main character, Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg) witnesses her childhood best friend being shot and killed by a white police officer, her world is turned upside down as she faces the struggles of a black teen who’s peers (at a predominantly white private school) don’t relate to her, the justice system doesn’t protect her, and gang members from her own neighborhood turn against her.
“The Hate You Give” does a phenomenal job of displaying the internal struggle that many black people face when presenting themselves to their familiar environment as opposed to the general public. Starr is careful when she’s at her private school. She doesn’t want to offend anyone, so she always smiles, never uses slang and never wants to be seen as the charity case from the ghetto. Starr is seen going out of her way to make others comfortable, while she seems to not feel comfortable enough to be herself.
Meanwhile, at home, Starr faces another obstacle while grieving through her friends death and desperately wanting justice. Does she speak up as the key witness to the murder of her friend and be marked as a target? Or does she stay quiet, unnoticed and quite frankly, uneffective. These are all choices that a young teenager should not have to face, but she overcomes her fears while growing, and impacting her society in a major way.
This film, though intense and complicated, can strike a nerve in anyone. Regardless of your political affiliation, personal experiences or social background, when you hear the sound of a crowd chanting, “hands up don’t shoot”, a more human side of any audience member is evoked.
One of the final scenes displays a distraught crowd protesting for Black lives, as the camera focuses in on Starr saying, “No matter what we say. No matter how loud we shout. They refuse to hear us”. When will everyone come together so “they” can finally “hear us”?
Overall, “The Hate You Give,” is a film which really brings the Black Lives Matter movement to the individual screen. The movie is as heartbreaking as it is moving, and is sure to inspire anyone who decides to go see it.