American History X (Naomi Bar)

American History X is a film that deals with the problem of racism in the U.S. It portrays the life of a family, particularly that of two brothers, that are involved in a gang of young racist individuals. The story begins with showing the smaller brother following the steps of his renown racist brother who is in jail. When the older brother is freed from jail he returns to his house changed and recounts the story of his experience to his brother persuading him to abandon his previous steps. American History X portrays the devastating effects that hatred can have on society, through a close psychological analysis of the roots behind racism which is passed on from generation to generation.
American History X is a 1998 American film directed by Tony Kaye and distributed by New Line Cinema. American History X grossed $6,719,864 from 513 theaters in the United States, and a total of $23,875,127 worldwide. The director used two white young men, in Venice Beach, a culturally diverse city that has a vast population of immigrants. These characteristics make the viewer be able to identify with both the characters, which could have been any white young man, and the location, since mostly the U.S. is made up of a culturally diverse citizens. The story does not have a clear cut vision of who is a “bad” and who is a “good” character and it donates a bilateral view of the issue of racism.
In my opinion the film deals with a very hard topic to understand on both sides of the coin, for the ones who suffer racism and those who are racist. It, additionally analyzes the roots of such a strong feeling of racism that directly derive from a social frustration or instability. In my opinion, the film serves as a good insight into the problem of racism and is able to deal with it in a socially positive way since it brings awareness and is able to induce a positive change in the viewer.


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