Good American History X Movie Analysis Essay Example
American History X is a notorious story about a problem of racial hatred. The main hero, Derek Vinyard is a young man who vehemently promotes his neo-Nazi views and fights for the immigrant expulsion. Danny, Derek's younger brother admires his outlook and seeks to follow in his footsteps. While serving time for the murder of two black men, Derek’s views become more humane and his new task is to save Danny from the skinhead gang influence.
Besides the obvious problem of racial prejudice, the plot involves some other social issues. The protagonist finds the support for his neo-Nazi beliefs in a group of skinheads. The phenomenon of conformity is clearly visible within the group in sharing values prevailing among skinheads. Another significant socio-psychological aspect is friendship. Exactly friendship between the protagonist and his work counterpart in prison, as well as friendship with the school principal, helped Derek to rethink his values and start a new life.
The turning point happens to Derek in prison, where his white group of Nazis betrays him by raping. Mentally crushed, he loses the understanding of his mission in life. After a fateful conversation with the principal Sweeney, Derek wants to protect his younger brother from repeating his mistakes.
I was touched by the moment when Derek genuinely laughed in a conversation with his counterpart and, perhaps, realized that his perception of black people was misleading. However, I did not like how the film director has cast doubts on the idea that racial intolerance should not exist in the people's hearts, by the last episode, when Danny was murdered by a black teenager.