American History X (1998)
Director: Tony Kaye
Screenwriter: David McKenna
Cast: Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D’Angelo, Avery Brooks
Region: United States
Runtime: 119 minutes
AKA: Good People of the Beast (Hong Kong) / American History Archives / American History X
Rating: 8.5 on IMDB / 83% on Rotten Tomatoes
Derek (Edward Norton) ‘s father is shot dead by a black drug dealer when he was a child, and the seeds of hatred are sown in his young heart. It turned out that Derek was good at his homework and he was a good student in the eyes of the teacher. But since his father’s death, he has focused all his efforts on dealing with people of color. He actively organized a gang of young white men to fight against people of color everywhere. Once, he shot and killed two black people, so he went to jail.
After prison, Derek joined a group of neo-Nazi white men. Later, when he befriended a black man at work, he began to reflect on his past. He was beaten and kicked when he tried to break away from the prison neo-Nazi group. When Derek gets out of prison, he decides to break away from the gang he used to organize and start a new life with his brother.
“American History X” is a 1998 drama film directed by Tony Kaye and starring Edward Norton and Edward Furlong. The film tells the story of a former neo-Nazi skinhead, Derek Vinyard (Norton), who tries to prevent his younger brother Danny (Furlong) from following in his footsteps.
The film explores themes of racism, violence, redemption, and the nature of hate. Through flashbacks, the audience sees how Derek’s experiences with his father’s murder and his subsequent involvement with a white supremacist group led him to embrace their ideology. The film also shows how his time in prison and a relationship with a Black inmate helped him to see the flaws in his thinking and start to change.
“American History X” received critical acclaim for its powerful performances, visual style, and thought-provoking themes. Norton’s performance as Derek was particularly praised and earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. The film has since become a cult classic and is regarded as one of the most powerful dramas of the 1990s.
The film is notable for its unflinching portrayal of the horrors of racism and the devastating impact it can have on individuals and communities. It also shows the power of human redemption and the potential for change, even in the face of deeply ingrained prejudices.
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