American History X – Movie Review Example

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The paper "American History X" is an exceptional example of a movie review ob visual arts and film studies.   There are several diverse issues related to the present day that are depicted in the movie American History X (1998. Some of these issues include racism, discrimination of minority groups, intolerance, the issue of illegal immigration and the role of correctional facilities. Derek Vinyard brings out the issue of illegal immigrants and his distaste for minority groups. He laments on the fact that the federal government has to spend a colossal sum of money on the services of people who have no right to be in the country (Ebert, 1998).

  Derek is irritated by the fact that illegal immigrants have to be locked up in correctional facilities leading to more spending by the government. He recommends the authority to screen for convicted felons before locking people up.   Racism and discrimination against minority groups are vividly presented in the film. I found out that the racism in the film is incredible. However, racism is accompanied by loss of love, family, friends and the realization that whatever you thought to be true is not always what it seems.

Discrimination of people on the basis of their color is rampant and alive in society. Derek is a Neo-Nazi Skinhead whose utter intelligence is employed in service of his raging hatred of minorities. Hate rhetoric used by Derek is unbelievable. He does is persuasively and forcefully (Lasalle, 1998).   Impact on the issues on the society  The issue of illegal migrants is alive in present-day society. American citizens have lamented for long on the issue of having to pay for healthcare and other essential services like education to people who have no insurance cover.

The rising number of illegal migrants from Mexico and other countries is continuing to put a strain on the federal and state resources. The use of correctional facilities to hold illegal immigrants is creating an additional burden to American citizens and the congress had until recently to revise the issue of green cards. If the challenge of illegal immigrants is not dealt with promptly, it will escalate in bounds and leaps leading a strain on basic services and an upsurge in correctional facilities. Intolerance as a result of racism has continued to hurt the present-day in the USA.

Minority groups have not gained full recognition and accepted in society among the whites despite ascending to the power of African American President. Discrimination is still rampant and it requires a lot of hassle from African Americans to land the same job as the white Americans. Voting patterns during the general election particularly when Barrack Obama was on the ballot were obvious. The minority groups provided the swing votes as it has ever been for a long time along in American history.

Intolerance including religion skepticism is alive in America and it will continue to elicit controversial debates than would not end soon. The movie also presents a change in attitude and perception of a person once he discovers his course and purpose in life. This is what happens to Derek when he is sent to prison for three years for manslaughter. This shows trends where people with bigoted ideas can reverse their thinking and turnaround to be hospitable.

Derek was a racist bigot who realized he did not gain anything by hating minority groups particularly the blacks. Many people in the present day have changed want they used to be for something better.  


Ebert, R. (October 30, 1998). American History X Review, Chicago Sun-Times, retrieved on 5th November 2013 from

Lasalle, M. (October 30, 1998). Neo-Nazi with a Conscience-Norton Shines, But History Disappoints, San Francisco Chronicle, retrieved on 5th November 2013 from

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