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Please make everyone you know watch this film.
American History X (DVD)
Member Name: woody_carly
American History X (DVD)
Date: 14/05/04, updated on 14/05/04 (83 review reads)
Advantages: Fantastically written, A real eye opener
Disadvantages: not for the faint hearter
This has to be the best film of all time; everyone should be made to watch it at least once. It shows, in the harshest way how racism doesn?t just affect the people involved directly but everyone in the community. American History X is the way forward, non judgmental its gives views from all sides; shows how everyone is to blame not just the skinheads who usually are shown as total mentalists out to kill anything that moves. A good rounded film which, without having to thrust its own opinions on you, can only leave you with the feeling that racism is wrong and will tear us all apart.
The film is shown through constant flashbacks between present day, after Derek (Edward Norton) has been released from prison following the harrowing murder of a young black man he catches stealing his car in the night, and the past which spans from his fathers death at the hands of a black gang up to the murder.
I will warn you now this film is not for the faint hearted, the violence is all too real and anyone prone to nightmares should steer well clear, whenever this film is discussed between me and my friends the murder always comes up and believe me there are still lingering images. However, if you can stand the first half of this film with its brutality then the film is well worth the effort.
The dvd says that this story is told through the eyes of Danny (Edward Furlong), Derek?s younger brother, but I think this is too much of a generalisation; the film is laid out so well that it is totally up to the audience to make its own decision about the content of the film. Yes Danny does tell the story for the most part but I think we are definitely not supposed to feel how he feels about things.
Danny?s story, drawn out by his black headmaster, and love for his brother are the most touching aspects of this film and if, like me you have brothers and sisters, the end will have you killing yourself with desperation. Amongst the racism and madness, which this film centres o
n, it is the family unit to which Danny and Derek belong that really controls the plot, they are losing everything through Derek?s former stupid actions and are not totally prepared when he returns from prison a changed man.
The actual plot of the film is hard to put down in words, part race against time for Derek to redeem himself and his family, part look at how racism is flourishing in the modern world due to lack of understanding and fear. For some of it you find yourself agreeing with the neo Nazi?s (believe me not something I do easily) which is a grand feat in itself and this I think is what gives the film such power. It is quite easy to see how, in the community in which Derek lives, racism can take a hold on even the nicest families and rip people apart. It is a sad fact that the world is how it is and that even now there are real problems with racism all over.
Cruelly touching, American History X, has an amazing emotional content and this film will leave you itching to do something, anything to be able to make things better. I always end this film thinking I wish I could get into the TV and slap everyone in the film till they see sense but it leaves you feeling so wound up that u feel the point of the film even more.
A fantastic experience which can only be truly felt by watching this film.
The dvd version hardly includes anything worthwhile, no reason to buy the dvd unless you really cannot stand videos anymore, luckily i managed to get my dvd very cheap and so was not ripped off for the extras but if i had paid more i wouldve been dissapointed. DO NOT LET THIS PUT YOU OFF!!!! buy the video if you have to, just watch it, NOW!