Genre Guesstimation – American History X (1998)


The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s Genre has been chosen by Jay of Life Vs. Film  We will be reviewing our favorite Prison Films.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Mar by sending them to sendjay2prison@movierob.net

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Jay!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of Prison Films…

“You think you’re the only one doin’ time, Derek? You think you’re here all alone? You think I’m not in here with you? ” – Doris

Number of Times Seen – 2 (22 Sep 2000 and 7 Mar 2017)

Brief Synopsis – The brother of a recently released from prison Neo-Nazi who has been living in his brother’s shadow tries to find his own path when a sympathetic teacher gets him to look at his own life.

My Take on it – This is a very powerful film that delves deeply into some really powerful themes like hate and tolerance.

They are able to deal with these themes on so many different levels that it is usually quite jarring watching as things move along.

We get to see how its possible for hate to begin and also how it is seen from a larger perspective in life.

The prison scenes are among some of the most brutal ones of the film, but this film is quite graphic in its depiction of just about all of the themes shown here.

But the fact that this film doesn’t shy away from showing the truth about things is part of what makes it so powerful because it is quite bold and unapologetic about the whole story arc.

The cast is superbly led by Edward Norton and Edward Furlong who both manage to raise the level of impact that these characters and story have on us all.

The prison scenes are especially memorable because they also manage to show us (and the characters) the truths of life instead of just the truths people perceive in life.

This story also manages to show the effects of nurture vs. nature when dealing with tolerance.

Despite being quite brutal, it feels very realistic and that is why this is considered such a great film.

Bottom Line -Amazing film that deals with hate on so many different levels; on how to combat it and not let it perpetuate.  Some very graphic scenes help to punctuate the dangers and brutality of hate.  Superb cast led by Norton and Furlong show the effects of nurture vs. nature.  Not an easy film to watch but it definitely is essential viewing for a film about hate and tolerance. Highly recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Edward Furlong and Edward Norton constantly changed around the script and made Tony Kaye’s vision of American History X not what he envisioned and made him not want to make the movie anymore. He was so unsatisfied with Norton’s performance that he still, to this day feels the movie is unfinished. (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Most definitely!  This film is an amazing way to look at hate and prejudice in society and has such a powerful way of showing its message!  The prson scenes are especially poignant and help further the message of the story.

Rating – Oscar Worthy

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10 thoughts on “Genre Guesstimation – American History X (1998)

  1. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z |

  2. Pingback: Genre Grandeur March Finale – White Heat (1949) – Life Vs. Film |

  3. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1998 |

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