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‘Blindspotting’ is one of the best indie films of 2018. Here’s why you should watch it

Oakland is having a moment. Young black voices have been given time to shine and we finally have movies that are moving away from white tropes. Blindspotting is a perfect example.

The film, written, produced, and starring childhood friends Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs and directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada, follows a parolee (Diggs) with three days left on his sentence before he witnesses a police shooting that threatens to ruin a lifelong friendship.

Casal and Diggs began working on the script in the mid-2000s with the initial intent to make something to show off their native East Bay in a more accurate light, after determining Oakland had been misrepresented in previous movie incarnations. After a few setbacks, the duo started production on Blindspotting last year.

What’s it about?

One of Blindspotting’s key themes is police brutality, a huge issue in America in the last few years (after being a huge issue for decades before camera phones). The protagonist witnesses the shooting of an unarmed black man in the back by a white policeman.

Racism is naturally also a big theme, along with issues such as gentrification and gun ownership. But friendship is also key, and despite the film’s direct handling of heavy subject matter, Blindspotting also manages to be a top-notch buddy comedy.

Why should people watch it?

Blindspotting is not only socially relevant today, but shows Oakland in a new light from two of its own in a sharp production style, not surprisingly resulting in a “certifiably fresh” 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

There is even a small part in the film played by Wayne Knight, who, despite Seinfeld going off the air over 20 years ago, still manages to elicit an internal “Hello, Newman” in viewers when he enters the frame.

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