6.5/10
15,440
134 user 30 critic

Higher Learning (1995)

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

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

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:

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Details

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Release Date:

11 January 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Higher Learning - Die Rebellen  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross:

$38,290,723 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Laurence Fishburne shot his scenes on weekends as he was also concurrently working on Bad Company (1995) at the time. See more »

Goofs

The position of the frozen broccoli that Malik uses to "ice" his face with changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

[Remy is holding his roommate and Malik at gunpoint]
Remy: Fuck all you damn Jews and Niggers! You stick together, don't you! You stick together to work against ME, the Pure White Christian Man! Don't you know he controls you, nigger? You're nothing without him. You're NOTHING! You're NOTHING! You're a SLAVE! I'll fucking take my fucking belt off, man, and I'll make you my fucking MONKEY!
Remy: [to David] Get on the floor.
David Isaacs: Remy, please.
Remy: ON THE FLOOR! You're not white! You're Jewish! You're NOTHING! You're ...
[...]
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Soundtracks

GIVE ME YOUR LOVE
Written and Performed by Curtis Mayfield
Courtesy of Curtom Classics
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User Reviews

 
Watch Boyz n the Hood instead
30 April 2004 | by (Lincoln, NE) – See all my reviews

I was thoroughly disappointed by this movie. I love John Singleton's ideas and themes, and once in a while he creates powerful moments in film, but this one was a total miss. First of all, I don't know if Singleton ever went to college (I'm assuming he did) but the campus atmosphere in this movie was completely ridiculous. Yes, certain groups of students tend to congregate together and isolate themselves from other groups, but the division of these groups into warring factions in the film was way over the top. I mean, come on, a Nazi fraternity? Also, I almost laughed out loud when the innocent, vulnerable freshman girl gets raped and automatically becomes a bisexual feminist campus organizer.

On the other hand, the film does give sheltered white people a better view of the more subtle forms of racism minorities are bombarded with in all parts of America, even college campuses. I loved how Michael Rappaport's (white) character got away with violent crime while Omar Epps's (black) character was detained by the police for the same incidents, not once, but twice! This happens everyday, and it's about time we see it in film.

Lawrence Fishburne plays a sort of mentor/professor to Epps in the film, but his character is not nearly developed enough, and also, doesn't seem to know what he's talking about in his lectures. He said America was founded in order to create democracy? Even the most cursory study of history supports the view that America's founders were the same wealthy white men who felt their social "inferiors" needed to be exploited and controlled to support the ruling class. I'm a little off topic now, but the point is that Singleton has failed in his efforts here to illuminate the roots of hatred and racial conflict. Compared to his more successful efforts Boyz n the Hood and Baby Boy, this movie is a failure.

Note: I've heard this film is required viewing in many college courses! Give me a break -- either those professors are so out of touch with actual campus life that they think this is somehow realistic, or they are closet conservatives who think this failed effort at liberal ideology will turn students off to efforts at social change. I wish they would give students more credit and show them a film that actually does a decent job of showing racial and class conflict in contemporary America, like the Weather Underground.


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