American History X

I'm not going to spend a lot of time explaining this movie, and I'm not going to spoil the end, except to say it made me cry, but there was no other way they could've ended it effectively. I think it's one of those movies you kind of have to see to "get."

Quick plot summary:
Derek, a skinhead, kills a black guy for breaking into his car. Then, he goes to jail for 3 years, and his little brother, Danny, gets involved with the skinhead and Nazi culture in Venice Beach, where they live. When Derek gets out of jail, he wants nothing to do with his friends from the past, because while he was in jail, some things happened to him that made him hate Nazis and skinheads. Derek wants to get his family, especially Danny, away from the life they are currently living, because he has realized that he was wrong.

Most of the movie is made up of flashbacks, which are shown in black and white. That's another thing they did with this movie, that they could absolutely not have done any other way. If they'd tried, it would have nowhere near as effective. These flashbacks depict events Derek had taken part in before he went to jail, and the events that led up to him going to jail. They also show bits of the time he spent in jail.

The "real-time" portions of the movie take place over a single day.

The title comes from an assignment Danny's principal gives him after he writes a paper claiming that Adolf Hitler was a civil rights activist.

It's a very powerful movie, I would suggest that anyone who hasn't seen it, do so. It is important, however, to note that this movie can be very easily found offensive, but once you get over the occasional graphic bits and unsavory language, I think you'll like it.
Posted on September 21st, 2007 at 02:58am

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