But all this seems to provide, at most, an emotional response to the earlier scenes. It uses a device more common in literature than in the movies: First we see Derek Ed Norton as a free man, newly released from prison, and having developed a conscience.
And what turned him around? How did a bright kid like Derek become a racist? Aside from his relationship with Dr.
R for graphic brutal violence including rape, pervasive language, strong sexuality and nudity Genre: For example, how does his harping about "personal responsibility" square with his belief in judging people for factors beyond their control, like their race?
But Derek takes this reasoning a step further and argues that blacks have a "racial commitment to crime.
When he debates a liberal teacher played by Elliot Gould, the gentle Gould character acts like a milquetoast, unable to provide a strong rebuttal. Monochrome sequences of Derek leading a Venice, California gang are intercut with color footage of the mature Derek ending his past neo-Nazi associations and attempting to detour Danny away from the group led by white supremacist, Cameron Stacy Keachwho once influenced Derek.
The filmmakers started with the intelligent skinhead character, then they thought, "What sorts of events will lead this character to transform? In a shocking opening scene, teen Danny Vinyard Edward Furlong races to tell his older brother, neo-Nazi Derek Edward Nortonabout the young blacks breaking into his car in front of the house, whereupon Derek gets his gun and with no forethought shoots the youths in their tracks.
Does the movie convincingly explain that transition? A compelling and provocative story led by an excellent performance by Edward Norton.
There are other factors at work, too, including his treatment by white inmates and his befriending of a charming black inmate Guy Torry. His more personal motive is that blacks murdered his father.
If race were the reason for black crime, then black criminals would be morally blameless. The movie takes great pains to show how articulate the younger Derek is when he justifies his hatred of blacks by citing the statistics of black crime.
The root of the problem probably lies in the conception. Once you see "American History X," however, you will understand why. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
His arguments hit upon common politically conservative themes as he finds fault with affirmative action, glorification of criminals like Rodney King, and liberals who blame white society for the problems facing blacks.
The non-chronological approach is very effective, making the movie about as engaging as any thriller, even though the plot itself offers few surprises. Then we see earlier points in his life when he was a white supremacist, and finally the prison experience that changed him. Tried and convicted, Derek is sent away for three years in prison, where he acquires a different outlook as he contrasts white-power prisoners with black Lamont Guy Torryhis prison laundry co-worker and eventual pal.
Rated R "for graphic brutal violence including rape, pervasive language, strong sexuality and nudity. But that turns out to be the least convincing aspect of the film. My main reason for wanting to watch this movie in the first place was to understand better how an extremist hatemonger could change.American History X was released on October 30,and grossed $, in seventeen theaters during its opening weekend.
The film went on to gross $6, from theaters in the United States, and a total of $23, worldwide. American History X. Turn autoplay off. A Story of Children and Film review â Mark Cousins's 'spine-tingling' visual essay. More film reviews. Across the site Film reviews. American History X.
This week's films. "Don't stray from the American way, and you too can live the American dream". A Story of Children and Film review â Mark Cousins's 'spine-tingling. American History X is flawed, yes, but is a worthwhile film that covers territories not dealt with in recent years.
Full Review | Original Score: B Pablo Villaça Cinema em Cena. American History X delivers its multiple and intertwining messages about as powerfully as I've seen from a film. 66 out of 77 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? What makes this film so powerful is that its unanswered questions force the audience to examine hate and its consequences making American History X one lesson you can't miss.Download