John K. Moeslein as Sid, Daveed Diggs as Collin , and Rafael Casal as Miles in 'Blindspotting.'

John K. Moeslein as Sid, Daveed Diggs as Collin , and Rafael Casal as Miles in 'Blindspotting.'

‘Blindspotting’ resists genre. It’s not quite a comedy, and it’s not quite a tragedy. It’s the story of an Oakland, California, man, Collin (Daveed Diggs), who is spending his last couple of days on probation with a good friend, Miles (Rafael Casal), who can’t seem to get it together. And then he sees a white police officer shoot an unarmed black man.

Critics and the public alike have raved about the film. It has an enviable 93 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

And it also tackles an issue that’s on the minds of a lot of Oakland residents: gentrification.

When we asked members of the 1A Text Club if they had seen the movie and about how it tackles gentrification, they had a lot to say.

“The movie had a huge emotional impact on me. It’s so real and so excellent and so devastating. I hope lots of people see it. I’ve lived in the U Street area of northwest DC for almost 31 years and am so disheartened by the gentrification and resulting congestion and upscaling. Needless to say, I could not afford to buy my modest 1-bedroom, 1-bath condo today, and am grateful to have it. But other than Trader Joe’s, the re-development of 14th Street does me and my husband no good – just a bunch of unaffordable restaurants and a few locally owned businesses. And street parking has become more and more difficult as the nabe’s [sic] popularity increases.
I must add, though, that walking home from the Metro Sunday after seeing Blindspotting, I saw a lot of diversity among the folks on U Street. That was heartening.”

“It does not exist. Gentrification is a term bleeding-heart liberals use for progress.”

“In Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood I saw my rent increase 35% in two years before moving for a new job, and the people who moved into my place when I left had been given 30 days’ notice to vacate their building due to a gutting/renovation. When the place was reopened the rent was doubled.”

We’re watching and reviewing Blindspotting for this episode of the 1A Movie Club.

Produced by Jonquilyn Hill. Writeup by Gabrielle Healy.


  • Rafael Casal Actor and producer, Blindspotting
  • John Horn Host, KPCC's "The Frame"; @jghorn
  • Sandhya Dirks East Bay enterprise reporter, KQED; co-creator, "American Suburb" podcast; @sandhyadirks
  • Malik Adán Growth editor, Shadow and Act; managing editor, ReelyDope; @dapisdope

Show Playlist

We listened to a lot of great music during this movie club. Here’s the playlist.


Note: Some of these songs contain explicit language. 

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