Directed by Carlos López Estrada
“Blindspotting” spawned a new up-and-coming star: the Oakland-born 36-year-old actor/writer/rapper Daveed Diggs, who co-wrote with Rafael Casal, a childhood friend in real life and also a promising actor. Carlos López Estrada’s feature debut is a convincing statement with its epicenter in the Californian city of Oakland.
In an unremitting quest for authenticity, the film follows three eventful days during the probation period conceded to African American Collin Hodgkins (Diggs). On his first day, he witnesses a white cop shooting a black man in the back, after a crazy night out in the company of his turbulent friend Miles (Casal).
Collin retrieves his former job in the moving company where he used to work, teaming up with Miles once again. This way, both become indirectly connected to the gentrification that keeps affecting Oakland at full force. The shooting scene remains vivid in his head and he soon finds out the identity of the civilian who was assassinated, leaving a three-year-old daughter. It’s haunting and uncomfortable. On the last day, he and Miles have a violent fight in a party, with the latter recklessly brandishing a gun in an uncontrolled act of fury. The following scenes are genuinely emotional.
Fear and disappointment dominate this section of the film, but more thrilling surprises are on the way. The writers tried to compensate the edginess of some situations with, unfortunately infrequent, hilarious moments. One of them occurs when the friends decide to make some extra money with the sale of hair straighteners, ending up being used as guinea pigs for the product they were advertising.
“Blindspotting”, a straightforward fusion between “8 Mile” and “Fruitvale Station”, is a powerful encounter of hip-hop music - somewhat displaced and too calculated here - and the racial complications that keep saddening America and the world.