It has a few faults, but nothing to stop the 5-star commendation
| Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
A boy follows his brother's violent way of life as a neo-Nazi.
After killing two black gang members that attempted to break into his car, Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton) is sent to prison leaving his mother, brother Danny (Edward Furlong) and two sisters to fend for themselves. His firefighter father died years previously when he was shot in the line of duty by other black gang members.
Upon release from his three year term, Derek is horrified to find that Danny has joined the same neo-Nazi gang that he was second-in-command of. Danny clearly gets into trouble but one black teacher is willing to work with him, encouraging him to get his feelings out into an essay entitled "American History X", telling the story of his brother's introduction into the movement.
American History X is currently the highest rated movie on IMDb that hasn't scored five stars in an Empire Magazine review - which was the main reason for watching this film. After reading the back of the DVD box, which proclaims violence as a way of life I wasn't overly impressed, but nothing could prepare me for what I was about to witness.
Of course, American History X can be ridiculed for the two reasons for Derek to turn his life downhill and back again - the influence of his father in his younger years is eventually overturned by his meeting a black guy in prison - but the deep themes that drive the film more than make up for its lacklustre backbone.
Racism aside, and family is the big issue in the film - and especially the influence an older sibling can have on their younger brothers and sisters. Edward Furlong, who was given the monumental challenge to narrate the film, is also the actor behind Derek's brother and he does a fine job at portraying Danny's benevolence alongside the other raw sadistic feelings that are beginning to develop.
Isolation is also covered along with its polar opposite of gang culture. It firmly lays the blame of the brother's predicament on the breakup of the family - which is a huge current affair, even today - followed by their integration into the neo-Nazi community. Derek's jail time is shown as the isolation that was required in order for him to reassess his beliefs. Bizarrely, despite the glamourisation of violence within the film, this also helps to show its moral heart.
Sure, it has a few faults, but nothing to stop the well deserved 5-star commendation.
aggueably one of the best movie ever made. it's wicked
Having converted most of my old video collection to DVD I was thrilled to find this film gem in digital format. If you watch this in widescreen format, it really does the battle scene great justice; coupled with surround sound, you'll be gripped by the amazing cinematography. I would recommend the director's cut that includes scenes about the relationship between the lead character and his estranged wife and helps you to understand the motivation behind his decision.
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American History X - A thought provoking, powerful film
American History X though controversial and perhaps offensive and too "heavy going" for some is a very, very good film. Amazingly directed by Tony Kaye, who frequently uses a black and white picture which works well and fits perfectly with the theme of the film.
The film carries many important and thought provoking points with regards to racism, neo-nazism and indoctrination of young and perhaps impressionable children. It tells the tale of two Brothers Derek and Danny Vinyard (Edward Norton and Furlogn respectively) who's lives are plagued with racism which derives from the murder and influence of their beloved father.
The Film goes on to show how the racist views are in fact unjustified and wrong, and shows Derek's struggle to lead his younger brother Danny away from this brutal and destructive lifestyle.
A Fantastic film with one of the most poweful endings to date. Well recommended.
Neo-nazism in America: American History X
Once you get into these things at the end you can't get away with it.
Edward Norton's best performance presents a portray of a young american who supports segregation between coloured and white people,who despites Jews and immigrants, who wants to keep America "pure", who is a Nazi.
His young brother is also ready to follow his steps.
The film is very vivid and descriptive, very harsh especially in the scene of the murder of the two black guys.
Great black and white photography, and certainly a didactic tone and a realistic image of america's dark side.
Violent racism in U.S.
This is a powerful and disturbing film of racism in U.S. with a brilliant performance from Edward Norton as a rascist who is sent to prison for violence against black people where he learns the error of his ways.
Be aware, this film is not for the faint hearted. Apart from the coarse language and the graphic view of lowlife streetlife, a couple of violent scenes made my stomach churn! It's kind of hypnotic and you can't take your eyes of the screen. Not for everyone, but its a memorable film.