6.5/10
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132 user 30 critic

Higher Learning (1995)

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

Director:

John Singleton

Writer:

John Singleton
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Omar Epps ... Malik Williams
Kristy Swanson ... Kristen Connor
Michael Rapaport ... Remy
Jennifer Connelly ... Taryn
Ice Cube ... Fudge
Jason Wiles ... Wayne
Tyra Banks ... Deja
Cole Hauser ... Scott Moss
Laurence Fishburne ... Professor Maurice Phipps
Bradford English Bradford English ... Officer Bradley
Regina King ... Monet
Busta Rhymes ... Dreads (as Busta Rhymez)
Jay R. Ferguson ... Billy (as Jay Ferguson)
Andrew Bryniarski ... Knocko
Trevor St. John ... James
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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 »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 January 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Higher Learning - Die Rebellen See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$38,290,723
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tyra Banks and the director John Singleton were in a relationship at the time the film was made. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Professor Phipps: Without struggle, there is no progress. (quoting Frederick Douglas)
See more »

Crazy Credits

Unlearn [appears in movie's closing shot, instead of "The End"] See more »


Soundtracks

TENEMENTS
Written by Richard Dedeaux
Performed by The Watts Prophets
Courtesy of Classic Cut Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well-Rounded View of Extreme Points of View
11 December 2004 | by jrfranklin01See all my reviews

The film's design seems to be the alpha and omega of some of the major issues in this country (U.S.). We see relationships all over at the university setting for the film. Befittingly, the obvious of student v.s. teacher is present. But what the film adds to its value is its other relationships: male v.s. female, white v.s. black, and the individual v.s. society. But most important of all and in direct relation to all of the other relationships is the individual v.s. himself.

I was amazed at how bilateral a point of view the director gave to showing the race relations on campus. Most films typically show the injustices of one side while showing the suffering of the other. This film showed the injustices and suffering of both sides. It did not attempt to show how either was right, although I would say the skin heads were shown a much crueler and vindictive (quite obvious towards the end). The film also discusses sex and rape. It is ironically this injustice that in some ways brings the two races together, for a time. Lawrence Fishburne does an over-the-top performance as the sagacious Profesor Phipps. He crumbles the idea of race favortism and instead shows the parallelism of the lazy and down-trodden with the industrious and positive. Other stars that make this film are Omar Epps, Ice Cube, and Jennifer Connelly. Michael Rapaport gives an excellent portrayal of a confused youth with misplaced anger who is looking for acceptance. Tyra Banks make her film debut and proves supermodels can act.

Higher Learning gets its name in showing college as more than going to class and getting a piece of paper. In fact, I would say the film is almost a satire in showing students interactions with each other, rather than some dry book, as the real education at a university. It is a life-learning process, not a textual one. I think you'll find "Higher Learning" is apropos to the important issues at many universities and even life in general. 8/10


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