Monday, October 22, 2007

Some Legacies Must End

american history x"His father taught him to hate. His friends taught him rage. His enemies gave him hope."

American History X -- This has got to be one of my favorite movies of all time. Maybe it's because of it's uniqueness as a movie, the plot, the dialogue...then again, it could just be Edward Norton. (He's a very good actor and you can't deny that.)

American History X is a movie about Neo-Nazism. It's a movie about racism. It's a movie about hatred. It's a movie about enlightenment. It's a movie about self-acceptance. It's a movie about reformation. American History X is a movie about all these aspects of a person's life that are interwoven into one intricate story about one family's life.

Meet Derek Vinyard. He's the leader of a Neo-Nazi group who are against everyone who aren't white Protestants. He goes to jail for manslaughter and gets released after serving only three years of his sentence. He's a changed man because of the multitude of experiences he had inside prison. Experiences that I probably wouldn't be able to handle if they happened to me.

Anyway, upon his return, he tries to renew his family's strained relationship and to fix every mistake that he's done before serving his jail-time. But then his younger brother, Danny, has become Derek's replacement within the Neo-Nazi group. Derek tries hard to change his brother and lead him away from the path of neo-Nazism before Danny ends his life tragically.

American History X explores the effects of Neo-Nazism through the lives of those involved in it, those who were involved with it, those who are close to them and to those who are terrorized by it. It's a scary ideology that looks down upon other people just because they belong to a race outside white Protestants. I love this movie because it explores something provoking in a way that people can relate to.

Derek's flashbacks help greatly in explaining the theme and the storyline. They are all essential in building up the story and in understanding the mentality of the people involved. Edward Norton really makes you feel Derek's character. When I watched American History X, I could really feel Derek's anger and pain, as well as reformation and his slow acceptance of the things that happened to him before he fully understood that what he did was wrong. Derek's life in prison was especially painful to watch -- and it's up to you to find out what was painful about it. Do note that I'm not only referring to his pains literally, but it's more on the figurative side.

I highly recommend American History X for those who want something new and thought-provoking. You won't regret watching it.