Film Analysis: American History X - Research Paper Example

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This essay describes American history X movie. It analyzes the role of symbolism in the film and its running themes such as insecurity, racial tensions, neo-Nazism, childhood influences, sibling idolization, and intricacies of relationships which all mesh together. …
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Film Analysis: American History X
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Download file to see previous pages "Film Analysis: American History X" essay, outlines the main themes of the movie and described relationships between brother. By placing a sharp focus on racial differences and insecurities, the story skillfully shows the synthesis of hate and its interplay with insecurity and distorted reality. From the basketball bet to the recruitment of young white supremacists to rising tensions when gangs cross each other, the film shows human interactions in such a way that hate seems logical (35:26). As Derek prepares his gang with new recruits to attack a store owned by a Korean, he passionately, and also seemingly intelligently, spins out a rationale why all non-white residents of the United States are “parasites”. Insecurity is implicitly built in as the prime argument to instigate the gang to attack the store by mentioning some of them becoming jobless as a result of the Korean owner. It is shown that poverty potentially induces insecurity which can be cleverly used to build up blind hate. The argument within the family about Rodney King’s case at Derek’s home shows him in rage. More importantly, it also shows that his previous passionate and intelligent convincing power over his gang came out of his own distorted view of life when he blames the media for fudging the “truth” about Rodney King, who in Derek’s opinion was the perpetrator and the policemen hitting him were acting out of self-defense. The irony of distorted realities and their relationship with insecurities and hate appear at several points in the film. Yet another point where hate based distorted reality is shown is when in the prison, Lamont, Derek’s co-worker, explains that he got six years in prison because he was wrongly framed by “white” police, Derek looks at him with disbelieving eyes. Another running theme in the film is the relationship between Derek and his brother Danny. Danny feels very close to Derek and admires him and his “courage”. Derek is shown to always treat his younger brother as his protege. Symbolically, when Derek murders two men outside his house, he shows triumphant glory and then gazes at his brother with a piercing look. The scene that runs for a few seconds, with Derek staring at Danny, and Danny looking back with a bewildered look, in a way shows that while being arrested, Derek has transferred his spirit into Danny. While Derek is in prison, Danny seems to live with that image imprinted on his mind. The relationship is unique in that both brothers are away from each other for three years. Danny, like a rudderless ship, holds on to his brother’s perceived glory and becomes a skinhead himself and joins the same gang that Derek once led. On the other hand, even though he doesn’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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