Looking for something to do with friends this weekend, or just looking for a new movie to watch? Then going to see The Hate U Give in theaters is a perfect choice–a touching and inspirational movie that carries a powerful message of standing up for what’s right and letting your voice be heard.
The film is an adaptation from Mississippi author Angie Thomas YA novel, The Hate U Give. The story focuses on main protagonist, Starr Carter (played by Amandla Stenberg) and her struggle with living between two very different worlds–the gang-ravaged and predominantly black neighborhood of Garden Heights and the wealthy, suburban prep school she attends. Her introspective narration shows her trying to find normalcy in her confusing situation of having to be two different people; the Starr people see at school and the Starr people see at home.
Her normalcy comes crashing down one night when, after attending a local party, she witnesses her friend Khalil get pulled over and killed by a police officer. In the aftermath of his death and funeral, Garden Heights becomes a hotspot of unrest as residents protest and demand justice.
Feeling stuck in the crossfire of the unrest, traumatized Starr struggles to make sense the incident and faces pressure from all sides of the community to speak up. Having to navigate her double-sided world and her identity as a black teen, Starr learns that she holds power in her voice and gathers the courage to fight for not only her slain friend, but for Garden Heights.
With brilliant acting and thoughtful, emotional performances, The Hate U Give addresses the issues of police brutality and racism with raw, unflinching honesty. It’s a must see for young adults, as much of what Starr goes through is powerfully relatable, especially among black youth living in predominantly black communities. More importantly, this film shows us the importance of speaking up for justice and using our voices to change and influence our communities and make an impact.
As Hollywood continues to create movies that highlight diversity, representation and serious issues, The Hate U Give is another much-needed film that can help generate discussions for empathy, understanding and tolerance in our current political climate.