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Higher Learning (1995)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  11 January 1995 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 14,149 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 134 user | 29 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

People from all different walks of life, encounter racial tension, rape, responsibility, and the meaning of an education on a university campus.



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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bradford English ...
Dreads (as Busta Rhymez)
Billy (as Jay Ferguson)


Youngsters from different countries, races, and social background are forced to integrate when they all enroll in Columbus University. They all have their own problems, such as finance, harrassment, personal safety, and self doubt. Additionally, campus life seems to be causing a problem for everyone: racism. Students, already under pressure to perform in the classroom, on the track, or in front of their friends, are strained to the breaking point by prejudice, inexperience, and misunderstanding. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for scenes of violence and sexuality, and for strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 January 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Higher Learning - Die Rebellen  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$38,290,723 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Prof. Phipps, the underachieving athletes mentor, has his one on one with Malik he mentions that the bearded white man pushing buttons to control the world is not reality. Laurence Fishburn later goes on to play Morpheus, the mentor to under acheiver Neo. The bearded white man pushing buttons, The Architect, is very much a reality. See more »


When Remy confronts Malik, by the statue, about Malik's black panther shirt and calls him a coon. Malik makes threats and Remy runs off. In the next scene Malik confronts Remy at his dorm room Malik states that Remy has been good about not saying anything to him. See more »


Fudge: [Referring to the Frederick Douglass book Malik is borrowing] Read it for yourself, and not for some damn class.
See more »


Referenced in The Matrix (1999) See more »


Written by Joel Bell, Peter Pagonis, Tom Walter & Pierre Gallaird
Performed by Mrs. God
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User Reviews

Am I insane or . . .
9 November 2003 | by See all my reviews

Maybe I'm crazy, but the exact things that everyone seems to find wrong with the movie are the things that I think makes it good. Like everyone was saying that all of the white characters are bad and all of the black characters are good, when that is apparently not the case. Why does Remy become a skinhead? Because the black guys in his dorm rejected, humiliated, and belittled him. In a way they drove him to it. Who's to blame here? In no way does Singleton let the black characters off the hook here. Many of them are portrayed as violent and irrational. Omar Epps's character is good example of where Singleton points out another dangerous attitude that has nothing to do with white people. The character thought the world owed him a break because he was black and underprivileged and the teacher is the one to call him on it. Or as someone in a another post pointed out, sorry to quote you, "Black self-pity," which the film does not excuse, but rather addresses with the same skepticism as it does the more generic issues everyone else seems to be concentrating on (racism, neo-naziism, date rape, lesbian cults.) So ask yourself, did this film genuinely leave you with the impression that it glorifies the behvoir of certain characters based on their race? Or is it maybe just that since the director is black you have a preconceived notion that he will be partial to the black characters?

So where a lot of people seem to think the message is black=good white=evil, I see it as It doesn't matter who's wrong and who's right because we need to put our differences aside and get along (almost equally clichee, I know, but still a different message entirely) Signed, white dude

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