The Hate U Give Makes Powerful Statement

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The Hate U Give

Starr Carter is sixteen, with an older brother Seven and a younger brother Sekani.  Their father named them Starr, knowing she would shine, Seven, for perfection, and Sekani for joy.  The Carter family lives in Garden Heights, a poor black neighborhood with crime and drugs, but the children go to school in a suburban white neighborhood.  Starr believes she must act according to her environment in order to fit in and not draw attention to herself.  This creates an internal struggle for Starr which consumes her life.

The movie begins with a flashback when Starr’s father, Maverick, instructs the children how to act when they are away from their home.  For example, if they are in a car and pulled over by the police, they are to put their hands on the dashboard and not move.  This was very intense, and I am sure a conversation that never happens in a white home.  As the movie progresses, Starr is at a party in her neighborhood when she runs into a very close childhood friend named Khalil.  Gunshots start, and Khalil grabs Starr to get her out of there.  He is driving her around when they get pulled over by a white police officer.  Starr tries to get Khalil to behave as her father taught her, but he is very casual and nonchalant.  Khalil reaches in the car for a hair brush, but the officer thinks it is a weapon and fatally shoots Khalil.  Not only is Starr the only witness to the murder of her good friend, but she is handcuffed and taken to the police station.  All of this is extremely disturbing!  Now what does Starr do?

I enjoyed this movie very much.  It handles very serious topics like prejudice, courage, privilege, oppression, and activism on a Young Adult level very well.  I saw such strength in every member of the Carter family as they were always there for each other.  Starr’s mother, Lisa, lives her own good advice: “Forgive and move on.”  This is something very difficult to do, but definitely good advice.  Good questions are asked, but good answers are not always given.  As Uncle Carlos states, “… it’s a complicated world.”

As much as I believe this statement, I also disagree with it.  Hate is hate on any level!  Because of the degree of seriousness, this movie contains a lot of tension.  Luckily, humor is thrown in to break this tension.  This movie is serious, funny, powerful, and moving.  It definitely makes an individual think, and encourages discussion of the topics involved.  One of the greatest aspects of this movie is its unpredictability.  With just moments left in the movie, no one in the audience was breathing and you could have heard a pin drop.  Real-life can be scarier than any other-world creation!

5.0 / 5.0