American History X

1423 Words6 Pages
American History X American History X is clearly a film dealing with the social topic of racism. The interesting thing about this film is the way in which the subject is presented. First of all, it is obvious that, though racism is always a difficult subject to deal with, American History X presents it without any reservations or dummying down. Second, the film's figurehead for racism, Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton), is not an unintelligent redneck racist as films often portray them, but is in fact well-spoken, charismatic and bright, although he clearly holds ideals that are terribly wrong. Finally, the film shows that it is not only the white, neo-nazi racists who are fools for being involved in this, but all those who hold hatred in their hearts. Through these methods, the film instills this idea upon the viewer, in an extremely convincingly way, that hatred and racism will destroy a person and those closest to them. It is immediately revealed to the audience at the onset of this movie that there will be no holds barred and no playing down the realism of this intense racial hatred. When the film flashes back to the reason for Derek's incarceration, we see Danny, awoken by the sound of breaking glass, rush to wake up his brother and alert him that some black guys are trying to steal or wreck his truck. At hearing this, Derek immediately jumps out of bed, grabs a gun, and shoots one of them, wounds another, and fires at the third as he drives away. Then, in one of the most brutal scenes in film history, Derek forces the remaining, wounded man to put his face on the curb and Derek kicks the back of his head, smashing in the man's skull. This scene is a perfect example of cumulative causation, for it depicts the endless circl... ... middle of paper ... ...ferred to comes at the end of the film, when a black student Danny had previously encountered and angered shoots him repeatedly. Derek, making a visit to the school, runs in to find that his worst nightmare had come true. His brother was dead, due to racist actions, and his life and the lives of his family will be changed forever for it. For an explanation unknown to anyone, some people are inclined to hating others. Motives may perhaps be because they are insecure of who they are, feel threatened by someone, or an explanation which no one has. This movie explains that a major reason why people hate is because they want to blame someone else for their misfortunes. It is always nice to put the responsibility on somebody else's shoulders. Hopefully in a near future people can begin to comprehend how foolish it is to hate all the time, and then start to love.

More about American History X

Open Document