I really hope the movie changed something in some people.The idea of racism disgusts me.
SPOILERS AHEAD…. I don’t even know if I can put into words how much I fucking love this film!!! American History X is such an underrated masterpiece—literally, from start to end. This is not an easy film to watch, but damn is it worthy of every second.
A 1998 film directed by Tony Kaye presents to us the story about a neo-Nazi skinhead named Derek Vinyard—marked with a life of cruelty, violence, racism—who is sent to prison after brutally murdering two black men who attempt larceny. Once released, he desires a change and understands his mistakes. Derek sets off to change and fix the things he did wrong, specifically that his younger brother Danny doesn’t follow in his footsteps.
American History X obtains beautiful cinematography. There is an extremely distinct and intelligent representation of hatred in the movie’s photography. The past is shot in black and white to portray how Derek viewed the world as plain as black v.s. white; and the present is shot in colour to represent Derek’s change and comprehension of what social hatred has done to better his life, which is simply nothing but pain.
Sadly, 20 years later, American History X is still relevant to this day. Recently, many problematic hate groups have been exposed and often include neo-Nazis. Never had I thought I would live in a world filled with this atrocity but disappointingly, they have always been there. Deep inside, I have this raging gut to show this film to all people that commit hate crimes or simply hate. Hell, how could that ever happen, right?
Why is it that I love American History X so much? It is because the message that this film sends out is astonishing. The script is in every single way a lesson, and it all concludes perfectly at the end. This movie in no way sets out to present white people being victimized by different races and ethnicities. It simply speaks to the world about not only racism, but how hatred can affect individuals and tear loved ones apart. Technically, this entire movie should be the definition of hate. That “Hate is baggage. Life’s too short to be pissed off all the time. It’s just not worth it.”
The movie accomplishes to teach us how individuals are never born hating. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, then they can be taught to love. There are numerous amounts of scenarios where this is shown through the film’s very memorable moments. From the curb stomp scene, which presents HATE, sending Derek to prison (presenting: hate does not mean better), where he soon experiences BETRAYAL from a group of neo-Nazis when they rape him, to unexpectedly befriending a black man, displaying LOVE.
Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D’Angelo, and Jennifer Lien did amazing jobs portraying their characters—each and every single one of them with so much pain. The most difficult scene to watch was the brutal dinner table scene where Norton gives a fucking powerful performance. He really demonstrated how deep the character’s hatred can go once he sends endless insults to the Jewish man whom during that scene was in a relationship with his mother. Not to mention the part where he begins to suffocate his own sister!!
The ending of the film was the most unexpected and completely heartbreaking. Although this is a film that revolves around white supremacy, I cannot be the only one who was hoping for a happy ending. Watching a family go through such horrendous events and then watching this former neo-Nazi noticing his mistakes and profoundly attempting to fix them, only to see them end on the murder of his young brother is truly fucking tragic.
In a way, during that last scene American History X presents the cycle of social hatred. One loses, and the other wins, continuing to pass on the hate. That kid was probably put up to a test, and as soon as Danny’s blood splatters over his face, the kid’s eyes open wide, and we know he regrets it.
I have read the original script of American History X and I seriously wish this film could’ve been longer. I really believe it still would’ve been successful if they included a few scenes from the original screenplay. AMAZING MOVIE!
Edward Norton ... what an actor ;o
The only movie which I'd want to rate with more than 10 points.
kinda like the white version of Menace II Society
Black or White?! Fuck off! We're humans.
Totally functional scene.
Let's hope the whole story of the movie did wake up some people.Put 2 people (not women) together in a small room and they will probably end up as friends, regardless they're differences.
Masterpiece. Heart wrenching. Rivetting performances.
I am honestly in literal shock on how brilliant this movie is. It has been on my mind ever since I watched it a few days ago. The brutally honest, strong and powerful messages and imagery. This movie is mind fucking. So horrifying, yet amazing! It is not necessarily a movie about anti-racism but about humanity's hatred in general. "Hate is baggage. Life's too short to be pissed off all the time." What a fucking ending! I honestly was not expecting that and it demonstrates how much hate can tear a family apart. An honestly, serious underrated masterpiece!
Yep, that gutter scene was very brutal! I still remember that after 13yrs.
Too brutal for my taste, yet +1.
"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."
This was the first film that I can remember that after seeing it, I was speechless. I watched something else. Maybe it was that up until that point 17 year old me was only watching American Pie like comedies or action flicks. I do remember that after watching American History X I wanted to get more out of films. Watch more "serious" films. I watched it loads afterwards and to this date (it's been awhile since I've seen it), it is still a powerful film.
Edward Norton is the star, his performance is unbelievable. How he switches between racist leader and family-loving brother is amazing. We also have the curb stomp scene that is something that will always stick with you. My favorite scenes are the ones between Derek (Edward Norton) and Lamont (Guy Torry), just really entertaining! And you just have a great cast here with nobody letting us down.
And the ending still gets me, they we're going to change their ways but Danny (Edward Furlong) already signed his death wish at the beginning of the film. Seeing him lying there in the arms of his brother Derek is heart breaking.
American History X is a film worth watching because of Norton's performance alone but not only that you get a to watch a powerful debut film of director Tony Kaye who basically threw his own windows in afterwards.
Edward Norton is an actor I never paid much attention to, but after seeing a few of his movies lately I've realised he's one of the most versatile actors out there. He perfectly portrays the horrible thought process behind racism and how it can stem in an adolescents life. It's a hard watch at times seeing how some people can be so consumed by hatred, but relieving to see in the end it can be overcome with exposure and escaping their tiny bubbles of hatred.
That was the best Edward Norton Film/performance
An important movie to watch and the best thing to do afterwards is to turn off all the displays around you and just think about what you've just seen.
Worth watching, many years ago when I first watched it I remember the title didn't invite me to watch it and I wasn't expecting it to be so good.
A great movie about cycle of Hatred and violence, its really moving and made you think
I've always been keen to watch this as it's highly rated. Edward Norton's performance stood out as extremely strong and brought back memories of the excellent 'Primal Fear'. Even Furlong was convincing (not an actor I particularly admire). The message was quite clearly spelled out at the end as we read Danny's paper. And that is...... hate doesn't work.
As I was watching it, it became quite clear that:
1) It is a very important film and I can imagine that the reason it's held up so well is that the message is so vital to take on board in order to make society stand up and realise what society should be, and that no matter what "justification" there appears at the time, violence just breeds violence.
2) Unfortunately, the message hasn't got through and the implications of the character's actions still mirror everyday life. I'm sure I don't need to rant anymore about the films moral and how it relates to current affairs, so I won't.
The transformation / 'rehabilitation' of Derek Vinyard was fascinating to watch. I think it all begins when he sees the hypocritical nature of the skinheads in prison (buying drugs from the very people they are supposed to despise) - showing that the neo-nazi bravado is just a sham.
I thought it was an extremely good watch; although the early basketball scene had the completely wrong tone (felt like something out of Rocky when it needed to be more sinister). So there were minor flaws but overall I'd say it's a movie everyone should have on their lists. It would probably make my Top 100.
Not perfect but still very strong.
A stunningly over the top piece of propaganda. I found myself agreeing with the message the movie was delivering but at the same time insulted by how in your face the message was. It's also marked by one of the weirdest endings I've ever seen.
They Channel your anger into hate, your hate creates suffering, but hate is a burden, you can not be angry all the time, not worth it. It was good
Third best movie
Sin palabras! Ay que verla
Brutal look at a family of racists