Director: Ryan Coogler Run Time: 82 min. Rating: R Release Year: 2013
Starring: Chad Michael Murray, Kevin Durand, Melonie Diaz, Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer
“This is one of my favorite films. I think this is Michael B Jordan’s best performance. Ryan Coogler creates a world here so nuanced and relatable that I would lose myself in the ease and naturalness and forget that I was watching a film. Tremendous film.” ~ Donald Elise Watkins, guest curator of Black Cinema 2023
Though he once spent time in San Quentin, 22-year-old black man Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan) is now trying hard to live a clean life and support his girlfriend (Melonie Diaz) and young daughter (Ariana Neal). Flashbacks reveal the last day in Oscar’s life, in which he accompanied his family and friends to San Francisco to watch fireworks on New Year’s Eve, and, on the way back home, became swept up in an altercation with police that ended in tragedy. Based on a true story.
Ryan Coogler is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. He is a recipient of four NAACP Image Awards, four Black Reel Awards, a Golden Globe Award nomination and an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. He made his feature-length debut with the independent film Fruitvale Station (2013), which won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. It also won at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, for Best First Film. He has since co-written and directed films such as the Rocky series spinoff, Creed (2015), and the Marvel film Black Panther (2018), the latter of which broke numerous box office records and became the highest-grossing film of all time by an African American director. Coogler also co-wrote and directed its sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022). Coogler’s films have received widespread acclaim and commercial success. His work has been hailed by critics for centering on often overlooked cultures and characters—most notably African Americans.
“This is a film for the people, a film for feelers and thinkers who want to see a story about a flawed person who loved his daughter and family.” ~ Nijla Mu’min, Shadow and Act