The Hate U Give: A Teen Film That Must Be Seen
Angie Thomas’s novel, The Hate U Give, is about young teenage girl named Starr Carter who witnesses her childhood friend get shot and killed by the police after they get pulled over. The book became an instant hit after being published in Feb. 2017, debuting at the top of the New York Times young adult best-seller list and staying at the top for 50 weeks.
A little over one year later, on Oct. 19, 2018, the movie version of the novel premiered and has been a huge craze amongst teenagers and adults alike. The film was directed by George Tillman Jr. from a screenplay by Aubrey Wells.
The Hate U Give is about a young girl finding her voice after a tragedy, which is why the movie is a must-watch for everybody. The story is told from the perspective of Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), a black sixteen-year-old who is well-aware of the complications in her life. Carter resides in Garden Heights (a predominantly black neighborhood that has witnessed more than its fair share of violence) but attends Williamson Prep (a mostly white private high school located in a much safer neighborhood).
Carter explains to the audience that she is living between two worlds; therefore, there are two versions of herself which she is constantly being pulled between. One version of herself is to only be seen by Williamson Prep, while the other version is specifically for Garden Heights. To avoid being seen as ‘ghetto’, aggressive or loud, Carter changes her speech patterns when she’s at Williamson Prep, but is more relaxed when she’s at home.
One night, Carter accompanies her half-brother’s half-sister, Kenya, to a party in Garden Heights, where she is reunited with her childhood friend, Khalil. After a fight breaks out, Khalil pulls Carter away from the party and insists on driving her home. On the way, a cop pulls the teens over and shoots Khalil, mistaking his hairbrush for a gun. Khalil dies, sparking national outrage, and Carter is traumatized by the experience.
Carter goes on to face many conflicts throughout film, but finds her voice in the end–which is ultimately a recurring theme in young adult literature. The Hate U Give is an amazing movie, as well as book, and deserves all of the attention it is receiving. If you’re looking for a movie that explores social issues, then this film is perfect for you.