6. The Hate U Give (2018)
Adapted from the novel of the same name by Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give is a prominent drama directed by George Tillman Jr and written by Audrey Wells. The film stars Amandla Stenberg as high school student, Starr Carter, who witnesses a police shooting and consequently becomes a vital part of a national story. Although fictional, The Hate U Give offers sparking similarities to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and so many other victims of police brutality. The film’s portrayal of peaceful protests and riots is a distinct comparison to current events and respectfully explores the global advocacy that has been demonstrated in recent years as well as the last few weeks.
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7. Blindspotting (2018)
Blindspotting is a joint creation from childhood friends Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal that depicts the events that occur after a parolee in Oakland, California witnesses a police shooting. Initially written around fifteen years ago, Diggs and Casal’s narrative is as ever-present today as it would have been in the mid-2000s and earned director, Carlos López Estrada, a Directors Guild of America nomination for Outstanding Directing. Diggs and Casal also star as the film’s protagonists whose friendship is jeopardised by their individual struggles with both class and racial injustice. Blindspotting takes the typical ‘buddy comedy’ and wraps it in social integrity, with the pair’s performances strengthening its delivery and overall critical reception.
8. Just Mercy (2019)
Based on the memoir of the same name by Bryan Stephenson, Just Mercy depicts Stephenson’s work as a young defence attorney when he assists Walter McMillian in appealing a murder conviction.
Dramatising a real-life injustice, the film has been hailed as solid and steady whilst still presenting earnest advocacy towards criminal injustices against African Americans. The film stars Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx as Stephenson and McMillian respectively, with Brie Larson and Rob Morgan in supporting roles.