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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
According to John Singleton, this movie was based on his college experiences while attending USC. Singleton says in the DVD commentary that the scene in which Remy (Michael Rapaport) walks up to Malik Williams (Omar Epps) and voices his opinion about the t-shirt that he was wearing was based on an actual incident that happened to him in which he too became enraged and wanted to beat the hell out of the guy. See more »
Early in the film, Remy says it is 1995. Campus fliers for "Peace Fest" give a date of Saturday, November 15. That date was a Saturday in 1986 and 1997. See more »
As a black man in America, my stress comes from everywhere. Recognize. Take a look around you. Look at this, Columbus, it disgusts me. Fool wasn't nothin' but a thief, mass murder. He done slaughtered millions of native Americans, and we done got a holiday and university named after his honor.
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Unlearn [appears in movie's closing shot, instead of "The End"] See more »
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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