It’s been Four years since Johannes Mehserle murdered Oscar Grant at a Bay Area Rapid Transit station, Fruitvale , but history has not been forgotten. A major motion picture chronicling the life and death of Oscar Grant is now at the Sundance Film Festivale.
Forrest Whitaker produced the film alongside his Significant Productions partner, Nina Yang. Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, will portray Oscar Grant mother Wanda Johnson, and actor Michael B. Jordan, will portray Oscar Grant. Chad Murray and Kevin Durand will portray Johannes Melserle and his partner, while Ahna O’Reilly will portray Marisol Domenico .
Titled Fruitvale, after the BART station where Grant was killed, the screenplay is penned by Ryan Coogler who will also direct the motion picture. The film is set to look at the friends, family members, and strangers whom Grant crossed paths with on his last day alive.
In 2009, the 22-year-old was fatally shot in the back by police officers in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day. Grant’s shooting was captured by several bystanders via cellphone. Despite the evidence against them all of the officers involved received little, if any, disciplinary action for the incident. Among those who got off easy was Grant’s shooter, Officer Johannes Mehserle. While he was initially slapped with murder charges, Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. In November of 2010 the former police officer was sentenced to two years behind bars with credit for time served, and was released in June of last year, after severing 11-months in county jail.
Hear Oscar Grant Mother Speaks about the movie Fruitvale
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Ryan Coogler remembers the first moment it occurred to him to become a film director. Having grown up in Oakland, Coogler was on a football scholarship to Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif., where he had to take a creative writing class. The assignment was to write about a personal experience, and Coogler wrote about the time his father almost bled to death in his arms. He handed it in, and the professor called him into her office. What did Coogler want to do with his life?