Police brutality gets spotlight at Toronto film festival

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[September 08, 2018]  By Rollo Ross

TORONTO (Reuters) - "The Hate U Give" held its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Friday, shedding a light on how police brutality affects the lives of black communities.

Based on the 2017 young adult novel of the same name, the movie tells the story of Starr, a black teenager, whose life is changed when she witnesses the killing of her childhood best friend by a white police officer.

The film follows scores of police shootings in the United States in recent years that have given rise to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Actress Amandla Stenberg, who plays Starr, said she hoped the film would change the perspective of Americans.

"My hope and dream is that those who have not previously empathized with these events have instilled in them a sense of empathy for black lives, for black communities, for the tribulations of black people in America when it comes to police brutality," Stenberg told Reuters Television.

The cast includes Regina Hall, Anthony Mackie, Issa Rae and Disney actress Sabrina Carpenter, who said the film packs a powerful punch.

"I think that's what art is meant to do - make you feel a little uncomfortable, question your life, question everything around you and make you rethink your choices," said Carpenter, the star of television series "Girl Meets World."

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Actor TJ Wright arrives for the world premiere of The Hate U Give at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Toronto, Canada, September 7, 2018. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

"The Hate U Give" goes on release in North America on Oct. 19.

(Reporting by Rollo Ross; Editing by Jill Serjeant)

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