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August 02, 2013

‘Fruitvale Station’: Too Difficult to Watch?

(The Root) -- "I just don't think I'm ready," explained a friend as we discussed possible plans to go seeFruitvale Station, the critically acclaimed film that depicts the final 24 hours of 22-year-old Oscar Grant's life. On New Year's Day 2009, the unarmed and handcuffed Grant was shot and killed by a transit-police officer in Oakland, Calif. Another young black man's life misinterpreted and interrupted.

The film premiered in a limited release July 12, just one day before the not-guilty verdict was handed down in the George Zimmerman trial in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. For more than a few of the people with whom I spoke, watching Fruitvale Station would be like throwing all the salt into a freshly deep wound. One friend described herself as feeling "real delicate."

So far the film, which opened nationwide July 26, has made $7,339,206 at the box office, according to the industry website For an independent film, those numbers are more than good. Forbes magazine described the film's gross as "flourishing" and said that "it no longer becomes a question of 'Will it pass $5 million?' but rather 'Will it pass $15 million and beyond?' " 

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