'Fruitvale Station' opens at Bay Area theaters

July 12, 2013 8:38:26 PM PDT
The film "Fruitvale Station" depicting the last 24 hours of the life of Oscar Grant III is opening at three Bay Area theaters Friday as part of a limited release.

The film is about Hayward resident Grant, 22, who was fatally shot on Oakland's Fruitvale BART station platform on New Years Day 2009 by former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle.

Screenings began today at the California Theatre in Berkeley, the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland and San Francisco's AMC Metreon 16.

The movie, written and directed by Bay Area native Ryan Coogler, focuses on the day before the shooting and does not delve into the police response, murder trial and Bay Area protests that followed the death of Grant, who was unarmed.

Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2010 and was sentenced to two years in prison with credit for time served. He was released the following year.

During the trial, Mehserle testified that he meant to use his Taser but accidentally fired his service weapon instead.

The opening night premiere was held at the Grand Lake Theater last month with the movie's leading actors, producers, director and the Grant family attending.

Michael B. Jordan portrays Grant, while Octavia Spencer plays Grant's mother, Wanda. Forest Whitaker produced the film.

The Oscar Grant Foundation, an organization founded by Grant's uncle Cephus Johnson, has been keeping supporters updated on the film and tracking its reception as it is released at more venues.

"Fruitvale Station," which was filmed in Oakland and other parts of the Bay Area, earned top marks at this year's Sundance Film Festival and was acquired afterward by The Weinstein Company.


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