‘The Hate U Give’ pays homage to #BlackLivesMatter


“The Hate U Give” tells the story of Starr Carter, an African American high school student who witnesses her childhood best friend get shot by a white police officer.

The film, directed by George Tillman Jr. (“Notorious”), was adapted from a young adult novel written by Angie Thomas and officially opens in theaters on Oct. 19.

“The Hate U Give” captures an intimate portrait into the life of Starr (“The Hunger Games” actress Amandla Stenberg) following the murder of her friend Khalil Harris and looks at the personal and horrific trauma of black people who witness police brutality firsthand.

Following the traumatic death of her best friend, Starr faces the consequences of what it means to witness a police involved shooting.

Fronted by familiar faces like Regina Hall (“Girls Trip”) and Russell Hornsby (“Fences”), the film boldly addresses white privilege and police brutality in a cinematically-balanced world between a safe, hopeful place the Carter family has lived in and a harsh reality that lives just outside that.

Once society discovers who the eye witness is, not only is Starr faced with backlash, but the whole Carter family as well.

From within their own neighborhood and community, to those who are shielded by white privilege, Starr must decide what kind of friend she want to be.

Starr, who attends a mostly-white high school, faces several problems as she tries to navigate through her relationships with her friends and her boyfriend who doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with her on culture and race.

Despite an upbeat soundtrack featuring artists like Travis Scott and Kendrick Lamar, “The Hate U Give” takes Starr’s problems and manages to weave them into other hard-hitting issues such as the media portrayal of police brutality against black people as well as the indictment of police officers who are involved in such cases.

Like her character, Stenberg shines through in a breakout Oscar-worthy performance as Starr.

Stenberg pushes the film forward into mirroring the current social climate and is strikingly convincing that every arc of the movie feels like it’s happening in real time.

“The Hate U Give” is symbolic, thought-provoking and successful in making viewers uncomfortable with the idea of hatred and anti-blackness.

The film adaptation raises questions about what it means to be black in America, and what happens with the hate we give.

The film shies away from nothing and in that, there is power.