A Powerful Review Of The Docudrama American History X
You likely don’t need a lengthy explanation of what this article is actually about. The content here will serve to properly introduce you to one of the most impressive films of all of the 1990s, “American History X”. You should learn a few different things about this film to fully appreciate it as it was meant to be appreciated, and most of this prevalent information will be contained within the upcoming paragraphs.
It is often speculated that this movie was derived and based on real events, though there is nothing to suggest this or mentioned of it in the film. The reason for this is that this film is believable in that it is very candid and very raw. There is little that is left to the imagination in this film, and well acted characters have to learn hard lessons the hard way.
You are given the best look into the life of Derek Vinyard through the piece, though it is often through the narration of his younger brother Danny. Danny is still in high school and has been getting into some trouble from the teachers and staff at the school. His history teacher asks him to write a paper on his older brother, Derek and that it was due the following day.
Derek is a leader of a gang of white supremacists in the neighborhood where they live. They believe that black people are the problem with the world, and that the world might be a much better place if there were no black people. You are briefly given a reasoning for this belief, as you see Derek watch his father killed by a black drug dealer when Derek was very little. A white supremacist took Derek under his wing and brought him up with his Neo-Nazi ideals.
You learn that Derek is in jail, and see a visual depiction of what landed him there. Some black people were attempting to break into his car, when he was alerted of it and he raced outside, gun drawn. He began firing at them all, killing one and wounding another. One managed to escape. The fate of the wounded would mark one of the most graphic scenes ever depicted on film, which was Derek forcing the man to put his teeth onto the street curb and Derek stomping on the back of his head.
Derek is forced to confront his hating ways in prison, when he realizes that he is the minority and there is no protection for him. He, through a lengthy series of circumstances, befriends a black man that he is on laundry duty with. Derek vows that he would do anything to take it all back and start over again far away from what he now represents. He learns that his younger brother is headed in the same direction, and he will not allow this to happen.
He is released and meets up with his girlfriend at a welcome home party. He asks her to move with her, but she refuses. He is also forced to face the man that taught him to be a white supremacist and tells him that this is no way to live. He and his brother leave, and Danny is able to finish the paper which you hear as the narration for the ending of the film.
The tragedy is the ending of the story, which while Danny narrates that hate is too much to keep up with and no one should hate anyone else, he is gunned down by a black kid in the high school’s bathroom. Powerful acting from Edward Norton (Derek) and Edward Furlong (Danny) make this film a movie that you simply have to see at least once.