American History X Movie Review
American History X is a powerful movie about racism in today’s society. It follows the life of a troubled teenager Danny Vinyard played by Edward Furlong, who looks up to his neo-Nazi brother Derek. Derek, played by Edward Norton is the leader of the local skinhead gang in Venice Beach, California. Derek was sent to prison for committing a hate crime against a black man, who tried to break into his house. Danny decided to continue down Derek’s path of becoming a white supremacist while he did time for the hate crime. Derek’s mother played by Beverly D’Angelo visits Derek while in prison and tells Derek about his little brother following in his footsteps. Derek realized the errors to his ways and began to transform his life while in prison. In prison Derek met a black man that helped him transform his life. He helped teach Derek that hatred is why he ended up in prison. Derek turns his life around in prison after a traumatic experience with the help of one of his old history teachers, a black man, played by Avery Brooks. When he is finally released from prison he comes home to find that his little brother Danny was on his way right to where Derek just came home from. After leaving one of the neo-Nazi parties, Danny and Derek finally get on the same page as Derek shares his brutal prison rape story with him. The character development showed Derek transforming from a dedicated white supremacist to a deeper, more compassionate human being. While the depiction of his brother Danny who was following in the earlier footsteps of Derek gave this film depth, and draws the viewer into the plot. This film is rated R for the violence and language, which is essential to accurately portray the life and attitudes of this culture. Scenes showing the hate crimes committed by the gang members emphasize the ugliness of this group. The one scene that kept replaying in my head was the one that ended up sending Derek away for murder, a...
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