Film Review of American History X" Essay

1101 Words May 22nd, 2008 5 Pages
The film American History X is rated by the users of (Internet Movie DataBase) as one of the 50 best films ever made. It is a crime/drama, a very violent film; not for the faint-hearted. American History X was released in 1998, and it is directed by Tony Kaye.


-Edward Norton (Derek Vinyard)

-Edward Furlong (Daniel Vinyard)

-Avery Brooks (Dr. Bob Sweeney)

-Stacy Keach (Cameron Alexander)

-Beverly D'Angelo (Doris Vinyard)

-Jennifer Lien (Davina Vinyard)


The setting is in Venice Beach, USA, and tells the story about Derek Vinyard, taking place in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Derek Vinyard is a very bright and charismatic student, who is drawn in to the neo-Nazi gangs when
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Shocked and furious by this, Derek stops talking to the white-gang. They decide to teach him a lesson, and rapes him in the shower. Derek is now alone, he has no friends.

Dr. Sweeney, his black, former principal, visits Derek, and has therapy sessions with him. During those sessions Derek's neo-Nazi ideologies and hatred against black, disappears. He is no longer a racist.

After a while he makes friends with a black inmate, Lamont, whom he works together with in the prison laundry. Derek discovers later that his friendship with Lamont is the only reason Derek gets out of prison alive.

Once he has finished his sentence, he returns home only to find that Danny, his little brother, has joined the neo-Nazi ranks, following Derek's footsteps. The rest of the film is about Derek trying to convince and persuade Danny off the neo-Nazi path.

The title “American History X” derives from Dr. Sweeney's attempts to get Danny to abandon his White Supremacy ideologies. When Danny hands in a controversial essay on “Mein Kampf”, Danny's teacher (who happens to be the same man Derek threw out of their house three years ago) takes him to the principal. Sweeney forces Danny to write a new essay about the life of his brother, with the title “American History X”, and he must hand it in the following morning to avoid expulsion.

Main character

The main

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