PFR Weekly: Ryan Coogler Part I – “Fruitvale Station” (2013)

The gang decided it was time to mix up the PFR Weekly template a touch, and to do so they are embarking on a three-part series dissecting and discussing the films of director Ryan Coogler. Coogler has directed three feature films, and so this episode and the next two will each focus on one of those directorial efforts to allow a deep dive on one of the most exciting directors working today. This episode starts the arc with a look at Coogler’s devastatingly beautiful directorial debut, Fruitvale Station (2013).

Fruitvale Station focuses on Oscar Grant III’s (Michael B. Jordan) last day alive before his murder at the hands of BART Police Officers on New Year’s Day 2009. In depicting this real life tragedy, Coogler pulls no punches in displaying the monstrous actions of those officers, but he also spends the majority of the film outlining Grant’s humanity and what he meant to the people around him. Jane, Nathan, and Devin start by considering how Coogler’s early life and education led him to this project, and then analyze the fully-formed directorial style on display in Fruitvale, and the many heartbreaking parallels between Grant’s story and the stories of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the countless other Black Americans killed by police.

If you have a suggestion for a film or topic for the show, get in touch! Follow and message us on Instagram at @portland_film_review or FaceBook at Portland Film Review,  or send us an email at Plus, if you like what you hear, make sure to follow and review us wherever you get your podcasts.

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