American History X definitely has the x-factor
‘American History X’ from 1999 is an American drama film directed by Tony Kaye and starring Edward Norton and Edward Furlong. It premiered in USA in the autumn in 1999 and became a huge hit and won several awards including best movie of the year. On the day that his older brother is due to be released from prison, the student Danny Vinyard (Edward Furlong) turns in a paper praising Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ to his Jewish teacher Murray (Elliot Gould). He is sent to the principal Bob Sweeney (Avery Brooks) who assigns him another task. He gives him a day to complete an essay on the events that’s shaped his live, including the events leading up to the imprisonment of his brother. The assignment will be called American History X. When Danny writes this essay, it provides the cinematic device to tell the story of Danny and his older brother. Derek has been imprisoned for the killing of two men, who tried to steal his car one night, thought that is not the only reason for Dereks violent act, the main reason is that they were black. He was at that time the leader of a neo-Nazi, white-power group. Hooking up with a local white-power activist Cameron (Stacy Keach), he organises a group of white kids into an organised mob who terrorise local black owned businesses. When returning from prison Derek finds his family fallen to pieces. His little brother Danny has become involved in the neo-Nazi movement. Derek’s own reputation has been enhanced by his crime and the time he spent in prison for it. They worship him and expect him to lead the group again. He wants nothing more to do with the organisation and is determined to stop Danny following in his footsteps and making the same mistake as he did. Many say, that the films popularity is based on the extremely violent scenes in the movie. I must say, that I partly agree. Before I actually saw the movie for the first time a couple of years back, I only knew of the movie from one...
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