Film American History X Discussion

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07:25:09 PM Jun 12th 2014
Someone who is more familiar with this work needs to make this Jerkass Has a Point, or Villain Has a Point. Strawman Has a Point is not deliberate.

  • Strawman Has a Point: Intentional. The film doesn't shy away from giving racist characters the chance to make their cases, often revealing the kernels of intelligent arguments made in defense of racist ideologies. In these situations, it's the other characters who actually play the strawman to the racist's arguments, failing to put up much of a defense for racial tolerance. This was the cause of some controversy among critics, but the filmmakers felt that they had to accurately portray the ideological conflict, even the elements of it that would be unpopular, for the movie to be effective.
    • During the "Rodney King flashback", Derek argues that the riot was "opportunism at it worst," that the rioters were just "finding any excuse they can get to loot stores", that Rodney King's actions were criminal, and that police and firemen do not receive the respect they deserve from the community for their dangerous work. The others at dinner just half-heartedly defend the rioters by making Freudian excuses and playing the victim card for them. Even Derek's college-educated sister can't do any better than to break Godwin's Law note , and gets agitated when she can't counter Derek's claim that Darryl Gates was simply a scapegoat to calm down the rioters, and that the riot wouldn't have happened if Willie L. Williams had been the chief. However after this speech Derek assaults his sister then says he did it out of anger, echoing the entire starting point of the conversation. So subtly the movie actually disproves Derek's rant.
    • Derek and Danny's father Dennis appears in a flashback and reveals himself to be an armchair racist, providing a latent reason for Derek's Freudian Excuse in becoming a skinhead shortly thereafter. Along the way, however, Dennis actually makes intelligent points by criticizing the philosophy behind affirmative action and the way new books are replacing established classics in the canon to increase racial diversity.
07:27:47 PM Jun 12th 2014
It's both.
10:01:15 PM May 30th 2014
Ending- Does Danny's death send Derek back into Neo-Nazism? I heard that there is a deleted scene at the end where Derek shaves his head again and gives a Nazi salute. Anyone have any information about this? How do you interpret the ending?
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