BART trains pass through Oakland every seven minutes. Any scene longer than seven minutes in Blindspotting has the sound of a BART train passing in the distance.
Daveed Diggs (of Hamilton fame) and his longtime friend Rafael Casal co-wrote and co-starred in Blindspotting, the story of friends living in a quickly gentrifying Oakland. David Digg’s Collin has days left in his probation when he witnesses a police shooting of a black man. Blindspotting follows the friends through those days, expertly portraying PTSD, gun violence, gentrification… the list goes on.
It’s a story of Oakland today and the people who call Oakland home.
The filmmakers earned the Dolby Family Sound Fellowship, which enabled the filmmakers to mix the sound using Dolby Atmos technology. Imagine the care and thoughtfulness that led to accurately portraying the sound of BART trains. Now apply that same care and thoughtfulness to portraying the experience of people living in a city that is changing before their eyes — a city where police cars incite anxiety and $5 green juices now fill local bodegas.
Diggs and Casal casually rap throughout the film, and like a good song, the pace builds to an intense crescendo. By its peak in a gut-wrenching scene, you’re holding your breath as Diggs spits words that cut like daggers and leave you with a deeper understanding of his experience.
Well worth the 90-or-so minutes, and it will stay with you much longer than that.
Director: Carlos López Estrada
Stars: Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal
Runtime: 95 min