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Higher Learning (1995)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance, Sport  |  11 January 1995 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 13,522 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 133 user | 28 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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Title: Higher Learning (1995)

Higher Learning (1995) on IMDb 6.4/10

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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

Taglines:

18.000 Estudiantes 33 Nacionalidades 6 Razas 2 Sexos 1 Campus (18,000 Students 33 Nationalities 6 races 2 Sexes 1 Campus) (Spain release) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Sport

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

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 January 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Higher Learning - Die Rebellen  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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

Vivica A. Fox was considered for the role of Deja. See more »

Goofs

Immediately after Malik leaves Prof. Phipps' office for the last time in the movie, the camera pans in on a plaque that reads "Columbus University: propter aurum quod autulerunt et propter sanguis quiem effuderunt." Apparently Columbus University's classics department doesn't live up to Columbus University's reputation as one of the nation's premier institutions of higher learning. The plaque is supposed to read, "Columbus University: propter aurum quod abstulerunt et propter sanguinem qui effudit." ("Columbus University: because of the gold that they have taken away and because of the blood that has flowed.") See more »

Quotes

[after Malik referred to him as a "sell-out"]
Professor Phipps: So, Mr. Williams thinks I am an Uncle Tom, hmmm? Well, well, well. What does that have to do with your ability to place a comma in its proper place or put a period at the end of a sentence, hmmm?
See more »


Soundtracks

BY YOUR SIDE
Written, Produced and Performed by Zhané
Courtesy of Illtown / Motown Records Company, LP.
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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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