If you watched the 2018 BET Awards Sunday night (June 24), you were one of the first to see the trailer for Amandla Stenberg’s new movie The Hate U Give, starring Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, KJ Apa, Algee Smith, Lamar Johnson, Issa Rae, Sabrina Carpenter, Common and Anthony Mackie.
The film, inspired by Angie Thomas’ New York Times bestseller, follows the life of Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), a 16-year-old high school student from a poor and predominately black neighborhood. With a love for Jordans and a knack for basketball, “Starr v2” doesn’t give anyone at her white private school a reason to call her ghetto, though she hates the front she’s forced to put up.
In the two-minute trailer, we quickly learn about Starr, who has seemingly mastered the art of living between her two worlds until she witnesses an act of racism, cruelty, and violence. When a white officer takes the life of her unarmed best friend, Khalil (Algee Smith), Starr is inspired to act for change.
“We live in a complicated world” overstates a character played by Common during a kitchen quarrel. “It doesn’t seem that complicated to me” retorts Starr.
While chaos ensues around her in the aftermath of the shooting, Starr finds herself at a standstill. With members of her community protesting the murder and her parents urging her to step down, Starr struggles to find her place in the movement. “It’s about more than just Khalil. It’s about black people, poor people, everybody at the bottom” we hear through flashes of rallies and riots. “I need to speak for him.”
The Hate U Give hits theaters on October 19.