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'Hate' captures racism, brutality

By Maya Gaynier
On November 20, 2018

Starr Carter, played  by Amandla Stenberg, comes to terms with the bigotry in her life while balancing living in a poor, mostly black neighborhood, while attending a private school full of mostly rich, white students. 

Every day, many Americans are faced with discrimination.
Whether based on their race, sex, gender orientation, or class, dealing with this discrimination has a profound effect. 
“The Hate U Give” is a realistic showcase of how these issues are affecting people’s lives and how we can speak out against these injustices. 
It deals with many social issues that have been prevalent in American society, including racism, police brutality, and self-identification.
Directed by George Tillman Jr., “The Hate U Give” was released on October 19, and is based on the bestselling young adult novel of the same title by Angie Thomas. 
I would give this movie five out of five stars. It is a compelling story that had me feeling a million emotions all at once.
(This review does contain spoilers.) 
The film follows the story of Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg) as she tries to balance living in a poor, mostly black neighborhood, while attending a private school full of mostly rich, white students. 
However, her world collapses after she witnesses the brutal murder of her childhood friend, Khalil Harris (Algee Smith).
The first thing I noticed while watching this movie was the incredible talents of the writers and actors.
From beginning to end, the character development was amazing. 
Chris (KJ Apa), Starr’s boyfriend, begins to understand the life Starr lives. This allows him to understand Starr in a way he never has before. He realizes the injustices happening to her and her family, which lights a fire in him to help her cause. 
This shows us it is possible for different races to come together and live in harmony.
In addition, the characters were created to be relatable, realistic, and beautiful in their own ways. For example, though Khalil Harris was only in two scenes, he was able to capture the audience’s hearts. Khalil had such a hard life, and yet he never stopped smiling. 
He was so protective of his family: his grandmother had cancer, his mom was a drug addict, and he had a little brother to take care of. His feelings were contagious, and Smith’s performance was intoxicating. 
“We’ve been together our whole lives, Starr,” Khalil says, foreshadowing his imminent demise. “We’ve got time.”
This quote, while sad due to the implications of his death, also makes you realize how sweet Khalil is and the kind of person he has become.
This incredible character who barely had any screen time is a testament to the abilities of both the author of the screenplay, the late Audrey Wells, and the actor, Smith.
But this movie is about more than just amazing characters. It also tells a story about police brutality. 
Police brutality is defined as excessive force by police when dealing with civilians. Although this is not a new problem, many cases have been making national news.
April Ofrah (Issa Rae), an activist in the movie, speaks about this social injustice at Khalil’s funeral.
“Violence. Brutality,” she says. “It’s the same story, just a different name.”
“The Hate U Give” gives a much-needed story a voice beyond what is seen in the news.
This story is necessary in providing perspective for those of us who have not had to face this issue, while encouraging those who have lived like Starr.
The emotional aspect of “The Hate U Give” is also something to be admired. Going into this movie, you are prepared for the heaviness and sadness of the topic. 
However, seeing the family aspect of the movie created warmth and happiness throughout the heavy topic. You see the Carter family have a loving household as they eat meals together, pray together, and share their lives with each other.
There was also a comedic aspect, brought mostly by Chris and Seven Carter (Lamar Johnson), that had viewers laughing out loud.
Additionally, this was a fantastically done book-to-film adaptation. Having read the novel before seeing the movie, I had very high expectations for accuracy with the characters, events, and themes. 
One positive addition to the movie is Uncle Carlos’ (Common) point of view. He provides the other side of the story, telling Starr what it is like to be a cop in Garden Heights. 
Though his character is prevalent in the book, he does not clearly tell a cop’s point of view. I thought this was a good addition because it acknowledges that the issue is not so clear-cut, while still showing that this is a problem.
There was also a big change at the end of the movie: Sekani Carter (TJ Wright), Starr’s younger brother, does not pick up the gun in the book. 
Despite this change, I appreciated the shock it brought to me and those who have not even read the book. That emotion only added to the intensity of the final scenes.
At the end of “The Hate U Give,” Starr knew that she needed to speak out against the discrimination she and others had faced. 
Just as she did, we need to fight for what we believe in and speak out against injustices that are being committed. 
Her father, Maverick Carter (Russel Hornsby), says it best.
“When you’re ready to talk, you talk. Don’t ever let nobody make you be quiet.”

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