THE HATE YOU GIVE
TAKING its title from the message inked into rapper Tupac Shakur’s ‘THUG LIFE’ tattoo, George Tillman Jr’s emotionally charged drama rages against racial division and police violence in America. The Hate U Give is sensitively adapted by Audrey Wells from Angie Thomas’s young adult novel, which chronicles the anguished rites of passage of a teenager, who finds her voice in the most tragic circumstances.
Amandla Stenberg, as Starr Carter, delivers a gut-wrenching lead performance, and zigzags uncomfortably between worlds of white privilege and black indignation. She lives in Garden Heights, Georgia, with ex-con father Maverick (Russell Hornsby), who turned his back on local drug dealer King (Anthony Mackie) to raise a family with wife Lisa (Regina Hall). Their brood includes Starr’s half-brother Seven and younger brother Sekani. To ensure her babies have a brighter future, Lisa sends the children to the predominantly white Williamson Prep). The teenage heroine keeps the two sides of her existence separate until she witnesses a white police officer shoot her unarmed childhood friend, Khalil (Algee Smith) dead.
Racked with grief, Starr shoulders a heavy burden to speak up for the deceased. However testifying against a cop could lead to reprisals.
The Hate U Give doesn’t project Starr’s journey of empowerment through a rose-tinted lens. Tillman Jr’s film ripples with fury and despair but an undercurrent of hope courses through every handsome frame.
Amandla Stenberg as Starr Carter