American History X (1998)
American History X Plot Summary:
Hatred driven by prejudices and stereotypes often blinds people's minds. Semitones disappear from their life, which becomes simple and clear – 'black and white'. However, this apparent simplicity is often just a veil that covers important notions that require thorough thinking and understanding. Some people keep their view of things during lifetime, although they are never sure of their truth. There are also people that face a crucial event that breaks their entire world of stereotypes and makes them to reshape their life completely. Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton), a neo-Nazi group's leader, is one of those people. He believed that he defended his country from foreigners, who deprived his countrymen from work, food, and life.
Directed by Tony Kaye and scripted by David McKenna and Jon Hess, American History X is an emotionally-driven drama film that reveals a naked racism and tragedy that struck a working-class family. Although full of brutal violence, the movie isn't about the white power and skinheads, it is actually a message film that makes us change opinions, reconsider our lives, and understand that common sense is still there, despite of all the mistakes that otherwise could destroy our personality and make our lives much more severe and harsh.
The story unfolds through the eyes of Danny Vinyard (Edward Furlong), who is much influenced by his older brother Derek and his neo-Nazi ideology. The actions culminate in a violent murder of two black gang members, who tried to hijack his truck. Derek murdered them not in the heat of passion, but enjoying the process, with a victory smile on his face. Imprisoned, he reconsiders his views, especially after a brutal attack by the local neo-Nazi group. Derek makes friends with a black laundry fellow, who helps him survive the life behind the bars.
Three years later, Derek is a different person. When he's back home, he is unpleasantly surprised when he sees his younger brother an ardent skinhead driven by increasing supremacist hatred. Ashamed of his past, Derek tries to save Danny from following his mistakes of the past and save the Vinyard family from the hatred and violence that he threw down on them. However, when the future seems to be bright for the family, Danny is killed.
Though the film has been shown not so well in cinemas, it is one of the most powerful message movies that make us reconsider existing stereotypes and our role in society. On the example of Derek Vinyard, we can see that a man with iron beliefs may change his mind, make conclusions and change his life for the better.
|Genres:||Drama | Thriller|
|Produced in:||United States|
|Starring:||Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D Angelo, Jennifer Lien, Ethan Suplee|
|Directed by:||Tony Kaye|
|Produced by:||Lawrence Turman|
8.6 out of 10 (296,989 votes)
|Running Time:||1 hr. 58 min.|
Los Angeles, California, USA