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February 25, 2007

Movies: American History X

American History X
Directed by Tony Kaye
Screenplay by David McKenna
Starring Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Avery Brooks, and Stacey Keach

You can view the trailer here: Trailer 

American History X is a film that exploits the problem of racism in America.   In the film we follow Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton) and see his reasons for becoming a neo-nazi skinhead along with his reasons for changing paths. This however is not done in chronological order and through a series of flashbacks we eventually see why Derek chose his white supremacist ways.  He eventually reaches an epiphany while in jail for a grotesque hate crime that he commits.  Unfortunately, however, his younger brother Danny Vinyard (Edward Furlong) has already been influenced by Derek’s ways and is too on the way of becoming a white supremacist.  After Danny is released from jail a new man, he attempts to change his younger brother and depart with his neo-nazi beliefs before it is too late. 

The best thing about this film is Edward Norton.  He delivers his best performance yet and flawlessly personifies a white supremacist.  His performance is so believable that you actually begin to hate his character and his racist ideologies.  This however is extremely ironic because the whole point of the film is try and deter society from hate and instead move towards rational and tolerance.  Although it may seem infeasible that a hardcore white supremacist can easily turn over a new leaf, Edward Norton makes it possible.  His performance is real, believable, and could not have been done better. 

American History X is not just an excellent film because of the cinematic qualities but also because it addresses an extremely important issue in American society: racism.  It is so powerful that it can truly change ones’ opinions and beliefs about racism.  It is influential and has the potential of changing American society for the better by stopping groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and by instilling a sense of tolerance for other races for anyone who watches the film. 

Posted by vatran at February 25, 2007 08:55 PM

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