|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Laufzeit:||Approx. 85 min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
The case of 22-year-old Oscar Grant, who was the victim of racist police violence on New Year's Eve 2008, shows how racism is still a topic. The case shook not only the people of San Francisco, but the entire USA. The death of the young man was reported in the media all over the world. But Grant was certainly not the last person to lose his life because of prejudice fueled hatred. For the young director Ryan Coogler, this was the motivation to set Grant a cinematic monument that would also function as a social memorial.
The very depressing result is called "Nächster Halt: Fruitvale Station" (Next Stop: Fruitvale Station) and almost documentary traces the last 24 hours in the life of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan). It's his mother's birthday (Octavia Spencer), a day on which Oscar wants everything to turn for the better. The ex-con wants to get his old job back in order to take care of his girlfriend Sophia (Melonie Diaz) and their daughter Tatiana (Ariana Neal). But as good as his intentions are, fate just doesn't mean it well with Oscar. On New Year's Eve alone, he has to accept a number of setbacks, but can also prove that he is serious about the promised changes. And that is reason enough to celebrate the New Year happily with his Sophia and his best friends in town. It will be a beautiful night full of joy and hope, but on the way back it comes to a tragic end at Fruitvale Station…
"Next stop: Fruitvale Station" is a very difficult film. This is not only due to the theme, but also to the very restrained staging. Coogler lets the viewer witness many events that would be trivial on any other day and thus not necessarily the stuff of which great cinema entertainment is made. The first hour Oscar travels around, talking to his mother on the phone, thinking about his time in jail, or arguing with his girlfriend, can deliberately be described as very tough and lengthy. Only through the final act these moments get their special meaning, which is why the movie can unfold its real power only afterwards.
So you first have to bite your way through the somewhat unwieldy beginning in order to realize that Ryan Coogler has succeeded in creating a really stirring and lasting work. This is also achieved by the very authentic play of the actors, especially Michael B. Jordan. Jordan, who has so far mainly attracted attention with his longer guest role in the US series "Parenthood" and his appearance in "Chronicle", could soon play in the first league of Hollywood's up-and-coming stars, as he has a pretty hot iron in the fire with the "Fantastic Four" Reboot. But even if Jordan's great success is still to come, it can be assumed that his performance in "Nächster Halt: Fruitvale Station" will always be one of the great highlights of his career.
Ryan Coogler has created a very uncomfortable, not exactly easily accessible, but in its apparent simplicity extremely stirring and important work, which in essence is far more than just very good American independent cinema. And even if the film doesn't offer entertainment in the classical sense and represents a challenge in several respects, there is one thing very clear for this arthouse drama: worth seeing!
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