Essay about american history x

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The morning of his release, he bids goodbye to Lamont, deducing he was the reason Derek was not attacked. Returning home, Derek finds Danny is emulating him, sporting a D.


Derek tries to persuade him to leave the gang, while Danny feels betrayed. Derek's best friend Seth, also a D. At a neo-Nazi party thrown in his honor, Derek tells Cameron that he and Danny will no longer associate with the movement.

Seth holds Derek at gunpoint, but Derek disarms him and flees. Danny attacks Derek in tears, and Derek calms him. Afterwards, Derek tells Danny about his experience in prison, which seems to prompt a change in Danny. The pair return home and remove all racist posters from their shared bedroom. The next morning, Danny completes his paper, reflecting on his reasons for adopting white supremacist values, and their flaws.

Derek walks Danny to school, stopping at a diner for breakfast. Derek reluctantly agrees to talk with the people he denounced; walking Danny to school, Derek is aware a car may be following him. Derek runs to the school and cradles Danny's bloodied corpse. In voiceover , Danny reads the final lines of his paper for Dr. Sweeney, quoting the final stanza of Abraham Lincoln's first inaugural address. Shooting took place in Los Angeles, California. Film editor Jerry Greenberg was brought in to cut a third version with Edward Norton. Kaye disowned the third version of the film and tried and failed to have his name removed from the credits , [4] [5] openly telling some interviewers he tried to invoke the Alan Smithee pseudonym which the Directors Guild of America used to reserve for such cases.

When his request was denied, Kaye tried " Humpty Dumpty " as an alternative name. Joaquin Phoenix was offered the role of Derek Vinyard but turned it down. The film received positive reviews upon release with many critics directing particular praise towards Edward Norton's performance. Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune , awarding American History X four stars out of four, described it as "a shockingly powerful screed against racism that also manages to be so well performed and directed that it is entertaining as well" and stated that it was "also effective at demonstrating how hate is taught from one generation to another.

For another, it has been directed with a mixture of handsome photo-realism and visceral punch. Nevertheless, Ebert concluded, "This is a good and powerful film. If I am dissatisfied, it is because it contains the promise of being more than it is.

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Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle expressed disappointment at the film, though he did praise Norton's performance as Derek, commenting that he "is perfect for the role". LaSalle felt that while the film succeeded in portraying Derek's descent into neo-Nazism, it failed to portray his renouncement of his past beliefs: "We had to watch him think his way in.

American History X Dinner Scene

We should see him think his way out. Far worse, the ending is a misfire. Norton's performance was ranked by Total Film as the 72nd-greatest film performance of all time. The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Theatrical release poster. Jerry Greenberg Alan Heim. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 7, Empire Magazine.

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March 24, The life of incarcerated people and how it influenced them is often portrayed in TV series or films which are mostly made to entertain the populace rather than to educate or raise awareness about the problems that arise within the displayed topics, and for that stereotypes and juxtapositions are used as well as certain methods and means of film making. This paper looks at exemplary scenes of American History X with emphasis on how some means of film making are used to display the life-changing experiences that main protagonist Derek Vinyard encounters while being incarcerated.

Directed by Tony Kaye and released in U. After spending three years in prison for the voluntary manslaughter of two young Afro Americans who tried to steal his car, Derek Vinyard returns to his home and family in Venice, L. Danny sees Derek as a role model. Their sickly mother had to take care of Danny and the two younger sisters on her own after the father got shot by an Afro American while doing his job as a firefighter.

Film Review: Racism in American History X: Peace Review: Vol 27, No 4

While being incarcerated, Derek finds protection and companions in a prison gang of like-minded white racists, but as he re- evaluates the actions of his gang and his own attitude, they turn on him and leave him physically injured and unprotected. But he finds support and friendship in an Afro American inmate with whom he works in the laundry and his former High School teacher, Dr Sweeney. As an anti-racist film, naturally themes of racism, stereotype and prejudices, white supremacy in and outside of the prison are displayed by characters and their behaviour, with the overall conflict how to personally overcome racist views and the consequences that come along with the choices of the past.

The story is told in an achronological order; re-telling events of the past, sometimes with an off-voice, to explain the thoughts the main characters Derek and Danny have in the present. Director Tony Kaye also uses the narrative effect of light as the events in present are shown in colour, while the scenes of the past are just black and white. The use of such an effect resembles the mind-set of Derek Vinyard: in the past, he has seen everything and everyone as either black or white, consumed by searching someone to blame and the death of his father.

But as he overcomes his past and realizes that the way he has lived his life so far would never lead to a better life, he sees the world in colours and acknowledges the value each human being inherits, no matter the colour of their skin. The next, come the analysis of the exemplary scenes of American History X with regard to racism and the connection to prison gangs, the display of stereotypes and, finally, the realization of the need to overcome this racist behaviour. For an overview of the appearing shot sizes, characters, sound and music effects and the length of the scenes, a table for each scene was made to provide this information.

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The categorization of the shot sizes refers to those used by Lothar Mikos ; even though they were used repeatedly, each shot size is just listed once to keep the tables clear. All of those events have happened while he was in prison and are an important part of his past, influencing his present.

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American History X      Will racism ever come to an end or will its path go on infinitely? The movie American History X by Tony Kaye displays an example of people who hold bigoted views. Derek, a Neo-Nazi leader, must contend with his actions relating to. Free Essay: 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.

Tzvetan Todoro describes racism as a matter of behaviour, usually a manifestation of hatred or contempt for individuals who have well-defined physical characteristics different from our own […] it is a matter of ideology, a doctrine concerning human races Compared to other kinds of offenses, it is thought to be somehow more reprehensible. The press and public have become so used to tales of murder, rape, robbery, and arson, that any but the most spectacular crimes are shrugged off as part of the inevitable texture of American life. For example, when a White Georgetown Law School student reported earlier this year that black students are not as qualified as White students, it set off a booming, national controversy about "racism.

American History X and Racism

Racism is, indeed, the national obsession. Universities are on full alert for it, newspapers and politicians denounce it, churches preach against it, America is said to be racked with it, but just what is racism? Dictionaries are not much help in understanding what is meant by the word.

They usually define it as the belief that one's own ethnic stock is superior to others, or as the belief that culture and behavior are rooted in race. When Americans speak of racism they mean a great deal more than this. A peculiarly American meaning derives from the current belief that all ethnic stocks are equal. Despite clear evidence to the contrary, all races have been declared to be equally talented and hard- working, and anyone who questions the belief is thought to be not merely wrong but evil.

All public discourse on race today is locked into this rigid logic.

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  • 1. Introduction!

Any explanation for black failure that does not depend on white wickedness threatens to veer off into the forbidden territory of racial differences. If no obviously racist individuals can be identified, then societal institutions must be racist. Or, since blacks are failing so terribly in America, there simply must be millions of white people we do not know about, who are working day and night to keep blacks in misery.

The belief of racial equality leaves no room for an explanation of black failure that is not, in some fashion, an indictment of white people.

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The logical consequences of this are clear. Since we are required to believe that the only explanation for non-white failure is white racism, every time a non-white is poor, commits a crime, goes on welfare, or takes drugs, white society stands accused of yet another act of racism. All failure or misbehavior by non-Whites is standing proof that white society is riddled with hatred and bigotry.

This obligatory pattern of thinking leads to strange conclusions.

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First of all, racism is a sin that is thought to be committed almost exclusively by white people.