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Ava DuVernay's Straight Outta Compton praise celebrates F. Gary Gray

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Ava DuVernay
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

After expressing her anticipation to see her hometown on the big screen in the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton, Selma director Ava DuVernay saw the film this weekend and emerged with nothing but praise.

In a series of tweets on Sunday, she expressed her emotional response to F. Gary Gray’s work and the “invested audience” watching with her at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in southern Los Angeles. She began by writing:

 

Going into further detail, she remembered seeing “militarized Batterrams,” the Rodney King uprising, and the “red and blue bandanas” tied together, which symbolized the truce between the Bloods and the Crips. 

 

DuVernay’s most powerful words came when she described how Gray captured “the stifling of our voice” and “the plight of the black artist.”

 

DuVernay, who grew up in Compton, was particularly struck by one scene, which she called “Sunday on the ‘Shaw.” She wrote of the short sequence that brought her to tears:

 

Straight Outta Compton stars O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Ice Cube, Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E, Neil Brown Jr. as DJ Yella, and Aldis Hodge as MC Ren. Tracking the formation and disbanding of N.W.A., the film opened in theaters this weekend and pushed Universal past the $2 billion mark at the yearly North American box office. DuVernay congratulated Gray and his team for the success.

 

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