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Starring: Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Fairuza Balk, Avery Brooks
Director: Tony Kaye
Producer: John Morrisey,Steve Tisch
Writer: David McKenna
Music: Anne Dudley
American History X is a drama about the love between two brothers and about how some choices are forever. It is about a neo-nazi milieu on Venice Beach, south California. I think it was placed there to illustrate that racism exist almost everywhere. Even in a regular suburb. It could even happen in your own hometown! Racistic attitudes are found in nearly every corner of the world, but are mostly spread in the USA. Thats why I think that the events in the movie would cause stronger reactions here in Lillehammer than they did in Venice Beach.
American History X is in one way different from other films with the theme racism/nazism. It does not show neo-nazists just as a group hating black people. This movie gives us a look at the actual roots and reasons of racism.
Danny Vinyard hands in a school paper about Mein Kampf where he reveals controversial thoughts. His principal, Bob Sweeney, demands him to either write an essay about his older brother Derek or he is out of school. Through flashbacks we follow Danny as he travels back in time. We meet his older brother Derek, a central figure in the local Nazi gang. After killing three black men, Derek goes to jail for three years. When he is released he has becomed a changed man. He breaks up every connection with the nazis and trys to steer Danny away from the racist gang before its too late...
Though I really liked American History X , I found it both horrid, shocking and in some ways disgusting. But the movie made me think, and I liked the way it told things honestly and without the usual clichès that many Hollywood movies have. Another great thing about this movie is the fabolous acting. The actors all do a very good job, especially Edward Norton who plays the hatefilled, and intelligent skinhead Derek Vinyard. He really is Derek and that is what makes him so incredibly convincing. What brings the film down is the script. Some parts I find are rather unrealistic. For example , I found it weird how getting one black friend and being raped by some fellow skinheads in jail, made Derek become a completely new man. I think it takes more to overcome a strong hate and belief like his.
Still, American History X is definitly a film worth watching. I guarantee you 118 min. filled with good acting, breathtaking scenes and honest truths that you wont forget easily!