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Fruitvale Station screening, discussion on race and class

Chelsea Jones | 2/24/2014, 5:58 a.m.
The injustices that affect children residing in low-income neighborhoods was the topic of discussion during a free public screening of ...
From left, Michael James, Michael B. Jordan, Trestin George, Thomas Wright, Kevin Durand and Alejandra Nolasco in a scene from Fruitvale Station. Ron Koeberer of The Weinstein Company

The movie illustrates the events that occur in the last 24 hours of Grant’s life. Furthermore, it portrays Grant’s personal struggles and his admirable and imperfect qualities.

At the beginning of the film, viewers see that Grant’s cheating habits have put a strain on his relationship with his girlfriend, Sophina. They have a four-year-old daughter, Tatiana, to whom Grant is compassionate and caring.

He has been recently fired from his job at a grocery store for not showing up on time. However, he has not told anyone. Viewers observe the financial pressure he’s under.

He has a rent payment coming up, and his sister calls him and asks to borrow money. Thus, he makes arrangements to sell marijuana to a friend.

As he waits at their designated meeting area, he reflects on his time spent in prison two years earlier. His prison stay strained his relationship with his mother and caused him not to see his daughter. He also became enemies with a White prison mate.

Grant decides not to sell the marijuana and dumps it out. When his friend arrives, he tells him he sold it.

He later tells Sophina that he has lost his job, and she becomes very upset. However, calming her, he informs her that he has stopped cheating and has opted to stop selling marijuana in an effort to change his life for the better.

Later that evening, he joins his family to celebrate his mother’s birthday. After the party, his mother tells him that he and his friends should take the BART train to see the fireworks, explaining that will be safer than if he drove.

Grant follows her advice and tells his friends to meet him at the train station. He and Sophina drop off Tatiana at Sophina sister’s house. Tatiana tells him she’s scared, but he reassures her that she’s safe and promises to pick her up in the morning and take her to Chuck E. Cheese.

Grant and Sophina meet up with their friends. They board a crowded train and head to see fireworks in San Francisco.

After walking the streets for a while, Sophina and her friend have to use the restroom. Grant convinces a storeowner to open his store for them, and later for a man’s pregnant wife. Hesitating at first, the storeowner agrees.

As they wait outside, Grant tells the man he is thinking about marrying Sophina. The man gives Grant his business card and tells him to contact him if he needs anything.

On the train back home, Grant leaves his friends to go find a seat. A woman he met at his former job sees him, calls his name and says hello.

Coincidentally, Grant’s former prison enemy is also on the train. The prison enemy hears Grant’s name being called, sees Grant, and confronts him.

He punches Grant, and Grant hits him back. They began fighting. The crowd becomes hysterical.

The train stops. Grant and his friends get off the train, but BART police officers, Pirone and Marysol Domenici, approach them. Grant’s friends tell him to get back on the train to avoid their detection.