Free Movie at Reel Mountain Theater: Exploring Issues in “The Hate U Give”

The community is invited to a screening of the 2018 film “The Hate U Give” next Thursday, May 2 at 7 p.m. at Reel Mountain Theater. The special event is hosted by the Estes Valley Library and the Estes Valley Restorative Justice Partnership. Admission is free by showing your library card or local student I. D.

This film wrestles with the complex societal issues that emerge after an unarmed black man is shot by a white police officer. The movie’s main character, Starr Carter, is the only witness. She suddenly finds herself facing pressure from all sides of the community, including the poor, mostly black neighborhood where she lives and the wealthy, mostly white prep school that she attends.

The library is continuing its series of Current Affairs programs that offer opportunities for discussion of today’s issues and the seeking of meaningful solutions through listening and positive dialogue. While the 133-minute movie screening will not allow time for a formal discussion, the library has arranged book discussions of “The Hate U Give,” both at the library and at Estes Park High School.

To provide the best framework for the series, the library has partnered with Estes Valley Restorative Justice. That team includes Denise Lord, Executive Director of Restorative Justice, and Detective Caleb Robertson from the Estes Park Police Department. The high school discussion on May 1 is being facilitated by Restorative Practices Coordinator Mary Barron, who is joined by School Resource Officer Curt Plassmeyer.

The 2018 film is based on Angie Thomas’s novel of the same name, which debuted at the top of the “New York Times” Young Adult Bestseller List in 2017 and remained there for fifty weeks.

The film has earned praise from most reviewers, earning a 97% positive score by the review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes. Anna Wilkinson of Vox.com called the movie an “incisive big-screen drama anchored by outstanding performances.” Reviews that were more critical of the film included the website Plugged In, noting the movie’s strong language and violence, and writing: “... even as it attempts to be fair-minded, the film still comes off feeling one-sided in its treatment of controversial issues. Viewers who agree with its perspective may cheer its messages. Those who don’t may very well be offended by them.”

“The Hate U Give” is rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements, some violent content, drug material and language.

The library expresses its gratitude to Craig Conley and the staff of Reel Mountain Theater for making this program possible.

This series of programs is part of the library’s current objectives to bring readers together in shared literary experiences and to engage community members in current affairs and decision-making. To learn about other upcoming programs, visit estesvalleylibrary.org.

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