Analysis Of The Film American History X

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Vandalism, murder, and rape are only a taste of the violence presented within the film American HIstory X (Tony Kaye). In his work, Kaye explores the origins of racism through the minds of Derek (Edward Norton) and his brother, Danny (Edward Furlong); however, the film tells the story of far more than these two brothers. It tells the story of all those who have ever overcame their prejudice feelings through the process of introspection and their proximity to those they are prejudice towards. While the situations and character transformations presented within Tony Kaye’s film are too radical and fast paced, it generates a true insight to the way of thinking that leads towards racism as well as how some may overcome this weakness of…show more content…
Kaye’s creation presents a list of unreal situations. As the audience catches up with Danny years after he witnesses his brother killing two black men, we find him in the principal’s office for submitting a glowing review of Hitler’s book Mein Kampf. If someone were foolish enough to submit a review of Mein Kampf for their high school English paper, they are foolish enough to make a mistake worthy of expulsion far before they are at the grade level to write essays over books. To continue with these coincidences, it is odd that the moment Danny changes his character and begins to accept people of color as people he is shot by a person of color. This coincidence has clearly been used to assist Hollywood as it attempts to tell its audience that racism will lead to a life of misery or even no life at all. While Hollywood may be correct in this regard, using a coincidence to present this idea is academically unacceptable. While these problems are real, they are all relatively small and are overshadowed by one large imperfection.
Kaye’s film, while a true work of art, has one fatal flaw, change cannot occur at the same pace shown within Danny’s transformation, especially when taking his environment into consideration. Change takes time, especially when dealing with a deep-seated prejudice such as racism. From the start of the film, we see that Danny has had the ideology of racism ingrained into him so much that he looks at Derek with pride, not in despite of his actions,
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