A story about a troubled boy growing up in England, set in 1983. He comes across a few skinheads on his way home from school, after a fight. They become his new best friends even like family. Based on experiences of director Shane Meadows.
A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing.
Derek Vineyard is paroled after serving 3 years in prison for killing two thugs who tried to break into/steal his truck. Through his brother, Danny Vineyard's narration, we learn that before going to prison, Derek was a skinhead and the leader of a violent white supremacist gang that committed acts of racial crime throughout L.A. and his actions greatly influenced Danny. Reformed and fresh out of prison, Derek severs contact with the gang and becomes determined to keep Danny from going down the same violent path as he did. Written by
When the police officer is pulling Derek off the ground after the shooting, he has his right arm over Derek's chest. In the next shot, he has his left arm, and then in the next shot his right arm again. (This is the second flashback to this incident, occurring about 1 hour into the film.) See more »
Strong performances by Edward Norton & Edward Furlong really make this
film for me. The direction by Tony Kaye with his mixture of black &
white history contrasting with colourful reality is magic to absorb and
shows this film up to be what it is a true American Classic,
ironically by a British director.
The film itself is about two brothers, Derek the elder and Danny the
younger adoring sibling. Derek has been in jail for three years after
killing a black youth who tried to rob the family; the nature &
brutality of the crime still shocks me to this day.
AHX tracks Derek's history through the first formation of racist
sentiment laid down by the father. These feeling of hate are
embedded when later his father is killed in the line of duty. Derek
becomes involved in the local Nazi movement, his intellect turned by
youthful rage into hate crimes and the rational that comes with Neo
The Nazi-tattoo sporting, egotistical, philosophical younger Derek is a
steam train waiting to crash, his propulsion to stardom is eventually
embodied when he takes the life of the young thief, the scene is very
apt as he calmly lies down and knows he will be a hero to his friends.
Without wanting to spoil the film Derek encounters change in the
prison, he meets a black man whom he works with and faces his own
demons inside, I will leave it there for those who want to be moved by
his transformation. Anyway, he comes out a new man and only wants to be
that new person, which means leaving the old crowd, leaving the
Anti-Jewish sepal he's been living with so long. The problem lies with
his brother who has become a little Derek, getting drunk and being
influenced like he was. Derek's cross to bear is that he can't change
his life without his brother coming with him and being on the right
side of humanity.
I think that this film is less about race and more about our ability to
change as individuals, the fact that we can become what and who we want
is a gift. Derek becomes the man he always wanted to be, he only wants
the same for his brother.
Kaye's use of black & white creates an atmospheric drama that builds
tension and has you feeling like a stung out piece of drum leather by
mid movie. I love the way that Kaye subtly uses quotes and
intellectualises the Nazi Stance, only to watch it being broken down by
the same man (Derek / Norton).
Norton is a joy to watch as is Gould and Furlong.
To sum up American History X is a powerful intelligent drama, which
provides plenty of discussion after the movie. This film should be on
every high school curriculum
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