American History X Thesis

2077 Words 9 Pages
The Truth About White Supremacy: American History X

As a Hispanic, I suppose I should expect or, be prepared, rather, for racism and discrimination. Thankfully, I have not experienced either.. yet. Our world is not perfect; things take place that we rather not know about, but ignoring the problem seems to only make matters worse. The movie American History X, is an admirable attempt to inform us about these types of malicious ignorance that plague our society. The impeccable acting, artistic cinematography, occasional adrenaline-pumping score, and slightly faulted, though award-worthy script, all combine to create an overall exceptional film. American History X should not be immediately dismissed as an archetypal account of a controversial
…show more content…
During flashbacks, Tony Kaye, who is also the film's cinematographer, uses black and white to portray the time in which certain scenes took place, and the mental state of being. The artistic idea portrays Derek hateful state of mind, as he sees everything no differently than black and white; there are not any shady areas of gray just as there is no fine line between racism and racial tolerance. This was a superb idea on Kaye's part. His talent for cinematography brilliantly stands out in American History X, as he helps to develop the characters in a way that others have trouble doing so. His ideas and thought on the controversial matter also are given the opportunity to shine through with his work. After Derek was disturbingly raped in the prison shower, his head is banged against the shower wall and falls to the floor overwhelmed with pain. The camera zooms out to show his body lying helpless on the floor and water flows around him, taking his blood with the current. It then zooms in on his "White Power" tattoo, and cuts to a wide shot, once again, of Derek lying on the ground. These angles show the truth about White Supremacy, as Derek was raped by those he thought were "his people". The focus on his tattoo shows there is no such thing as "White Power" if fellow skinheads treat each other the same as they do blacks. Kaye's portrayal of Derek as a White Supremacist messiah is also …show more content…
The writers do not use the usual way of dealing with controversial issues, they do not lecture and so on, they present the story and allow the audience to develop their own opinions on it. The only fault was that Derek's transformation occurred too quickly and too easily. Actually, the speed at which the transformation occurred may be reasonable to some, but how Derek changes seems too simple. A rape is certainly disturbing, but seeing as how aggressive and stubborn Derek was, one would think that he would try to seek revenge, or do something to those who wronged him to make them understand, but he did not do so. A black inmate sacrifices his own life and reputation to help Derek out, but once again, knowing how Derek was, he would have pushed him away also. It is a good basis, but a little bit more information on how he changed, or more intense events would have justified everything

Related Documents