Angie Thomas's heartbreakingly topical YA novel, The Hate U Give, debuted at the top of The New York Times' Young Adult best-seller list early last year. The book is an exposed nerve, tackling issues like police brutality, racial profiling, and the Black Lives Matter movement through the eyes of a teen girl named Starr Carter.
Now, the first trailer for the anticipated big-screen adaptation is finally here, and it looks every bit as moving as its source material.
Actor and activist Amandla Stenberg steps into the role of Starr, a 16-year-old caught between two worlds — the wealthy, mostly white high school in which she attends and Garden Heights, the poor, predominantly black neighborhood where she's from. Her prep school friends, including her caring boyfriend Chris (played by Riverdale's KJ Apa), only see one side of Starr, or Starr 2.0, as Stenberg explains in the trailer, and she's careful not to "give anyone a reason to call her ghetto" when she's at Williamson.
But her double life is shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil (Algee Smith), by a white police officer. Khalil, like so many of the real-life black men who inspired Thomas's tale, was unarmed. In the aftermath of Khalil's tragic death, and facing pressure from her community, it's up to Starr to find her voice and stand up for what's right.
The film also stars Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Issa Rae, Sabrina Carpenter, Common, and Anthony Mackie.
Directed by George Tillman, Jr., The Hate U Give hits theaters October 19.