Movie Review: A Voice Worth Listening To

Movie Review: The Hate U Give
I recently went to see the movie The Hate U Give at Penn Cinema. I have to say I usually get antsy during movies and wonder how much longer until it will be over. This time was a very different story.

My heart was beating the whole time wondering what was going to happen next. I never once looked away from the screen. It is a movie that everyone should see some time in their life.

This movie is based on a book I began to read over the summer. It is about an African American girl named Starr who lives in an urban neighborhood called Garden Heights. She lives with her two parents and her older brother Seven and little brother Sekani. Starr lives in two very different worlds; she goes to a private school made up of predominately white kids and lives in a neighborhood made up of mostly African Americans.

Starr lives a very hard life after her close friend Khalil gets shot by a police for holding a hairbrush which was mistaken for a gun. Starr has to cover up her feelings as she goes to school each and every day with the fear of what the white kids might think of her. Because Starr was the only person to witness Khalil getting shot, she is asked to go on the news and talk about it.

Her mom, being as protective as she is, is unsure if she should let her child show like that. Starr lives her life from then on questioning the actions of people towards African Americans and standing up for the rights of herself and those around her.

Starr hates that people have to live in the "THUG" life. And you know what? It's black people. These people that get treated this way--day in and day out--are the African Americans.

“It's dope to be black until it's hard to be black.”
― Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give

One of my favorite scenes in this movie is when Starr shows her friend Hailey, what it’s like to be pulled over by a cop and how they treat you when you are black. Hailey was on the floor in tears because she thought Starr was being violent and mean. Well, that's exactly what it is. It’s nothing but ignorance for black people’s rights. Hailey had no idea that Starr was being treated like that. Hailey even had the nerve to tell Starr that she felt bad for the police in that situation. Which I don't even understand.

People in the movie were outraged when they found out that the police did not even go to jail or get punished one bit for shooting at Khalil for a mistaken gun.

What does Starr do you might ask? She does what she should do. She uses her voice throughout the whole movie. She takes part in a march through the town. When the police try to stop them she rises higher physically and mentally. She stands on a car and shouts the truth. At this moment in the movie, I really felt what she was trying to prove.

She was nothing but natural and just showing how police cruelty is a big problem in this day in age. Starr's uncle--Uncle Carlos--was questioned by Starr what he would have done if Khalil was white.

Would he shoot at Khalil right away or would he question him first? To my surprise, Uncle Carlos answered back that he would ask Khalil what he had in his hand first. Why does it make it right to take someone's life because of the color of their skin? They did nothing to anyone. This is something that I will never fully understand.

“That's the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What's the point of having a voice if you're gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn't be?”
― Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give
Amidst the fear she has to live every single day, Starr is a very independent leader that wants to see a change in the world. I can see clearly throughout the movie that she lives to make a change so people don't have to die from a young age just because the color of their skin. In the movie, her dad told her that she was named Starr for a reason. And she takes that role of being a "star" seriously.

From an early age, Starr was given the talk. It's sad that someone this young should have to know what to do if a policeman stops them. But at that moment when Khalil got pulled over, it was a good thing that Starr got that talk so she could stop him from getting in trouble with the police.

Things may never change. But there's hope. If we all live for change and truly want a different reality, then we should start with ourselves and our actions. So that our actions reflect the future. This powerful movie made me realize that I have a very easy life compared to some people in this world. But beyond that, we all can take something from this. And that is that we need to treat every person equally whether they look like us or not. Whether they believe what we do or not.

We all need to have a little bit of Starr in us that stands up for what is right. We all have something to take from the voice of Starr. So go on. Spread the word.

The opinions of the stated author does not constitute an official position of the Lampeter-Strasburg School District or of the LS News editorial board.

--By Hollyn Miller, LS News reporter

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