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American History X

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July 11, 2008

Movie Review вЂ"American History X

United States, 1998

Running Length: 1:57

Cast: Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D’Angelo, Avery Brooks, Stacy Keach, Fariuza Balk, Jennifer Lien, Elliot Gould, Guy Torry, Ethan Suplee and William Russ

Director: Tony Kaye

Rated: R (Profanity, violence, sex)

American History X directed by Tony Kaye is a well known phenomenon and considered to be a movie that everyone is bound to see. The most important feature when he or she is watching this film is to recognize the “past” sequences are represented in black and white, while the current ones are in color. Tony Kaye does a brilliant job displaying the effects of racism in a certain society while showing the consequences both surprising and disastrous. The film examines the various ways that racism, hatred, or inner city violence can ruin a particular family, group of friends, or simply the way society is viewed in general. The film demonstrates that actions have consequences, and that saying “I’m sorry” isn’t easy. The final sequence in the film is shocking not because it’s unexpected, but because it illustrates this truth.

In the world of the skinhead neo- Nazi, Derek Vineyard (Edward Norton) was one of the most outspoken members of the Venice Beach White Supremacist movement, also called VBWS. A terrorizing figure, with his head shaved and a swastika tattooed across his chest, Derek was highly responsible for recruiting and organizing the disadvantages of the white youths of his neighborhood, and then turning their anger and hostility against the non-whites. While being characterized by a distinction of a bully, Derek led his followers on a series of continuous hate crimes against the visible minorities of the Venice Beach community, including a horrifying attack on a Korean owned grocery store. Due to Derek’s behavior, he had many followers to attribute to him, one includes Cameron (Stacey Keach) who stays behind the scenes to keep his records clean and who pulls strings of the VBWS from a distance. Derek’s other followers include his younger brother, Danny (Edward Furlong), who worships him; his girlfriend Stacey (Fairuza Balk), who follows his words, and Seth ( Ethan Suplee), an overweight exterminator who finds empowerment in Derek’s actions.

On one dreadful night, Derek shoots one of the black youths in his neighborhood attempting to steal his car. After he kills this man and being arrested, he ends up serving a three year sentence for manslaughter. While in prison, Derek learns that being the way he was on the streets seemed like an easy going process at the time, but soon realizes he needs to have a change of heart. His change starts with a different attitude towards

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