In the lead-up to Straight Outta Compton’s release, director Ava DuVernay has been one of the biopic’s most vocal fans, tweeting support for the film and interviewing its director, F. Gary Gray. Like the rest of the country, she watched the film over the weekend, except she did so from the vantage point of Compton, her (and N.W.A’s) hometown and the turbulent backdrop for most of the film. The experience unlocked a flood of memories for DuVernay, some of which she shared in an enlightening Twitter review of the movie. Her words serve as both a fact-check and a personal essay, so much so that this writer was moved to tears. Even if you haven’t seen the film yet or have no plans to, it’s a necessary companion piece that also works beautifully on its own.