Milwaukee director debuts film 'The Hate U Give'

A Milwaukee film director says his early days in Brew City helped him understand the lead character in his new film "The Hate U Give."

The film is based on the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller by Angie Thomas and it opens nationwide on Oct.19. George Tillman was in Milwaukee for an exclusive preview Wednesday night. 

In the film Starr Carter switches between two worlds on a daily basis. Her poor, mostly black neighborhood and her rich, mostly white private school.

Tillman says when he grew up in Milwaukee, his family moved between 29th and Clarke and 76th and Silver Spring causing him to adapt.

"Completely changed how I saw things and saw these two different worlds...That's the reason that I wanted to make the movie because that's the way I felt growing up here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin all the way up to my senior year in HS," said Tillman.

Carter's life changes when her lifelong friend is shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop. The incident pushes Starr to become an activist for change.

"We see her change people around her. Her friends at the white world where she goes to private school and the people in her own neighborhood. She comes out heroic" said Tillman. 

Tillman says he wants the movie to spark conversation.

"The film shows many different complexities on how we relate to one another... I think this is about healing we are all on this earth together and we need to be able to be one unified hope."

The film is currently in theaters around Milwaukee. 

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