Film Review through a criminal justice lens. (American X)

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Introduction American History X is a movie written by David McKenna and directed by Tony Kaye. It is set in Venice, Los Angeles with the main character being Edward Norton (Derek). The film tells a story between two brothers, Danny and Derek who become entangled in activities of the Neo-Nazi activism as well as the ideologies of white supremacism. The film gives a clear picture of the culture that prevailed in the twentieth century and before that. It is a story of intolerance against people of a different color from whites and the state of criminal justice at the time (American History X, 1998). Summary of the Movie The movie begins with a flashback to the night Derek attacked two black men attempting to steal his van, such attack leading to their deaths after which he is arrested immediately and sentenced to three years imprisonment. However, we get to learn later that his sentence was only that low because his younger brother failed to testify. The story is then focused on Danny, who three years later follows in the footsteps of his brother, propounding the ideals of Nazism and white supremacism which lands him in trouble with his professor, Mr. Sweeney, and a group of black boys. Meanwhile, Derek is released from jail, having become a different man from who he was, more tolerant and cognizant of the fact that it was hate and pain from his father’s murder by a gang of black men that informed his decisions. Decisions that he was now very ashamed of. He realizes that his brother, Danny, is headed in the same path and attempts to save him. This leads to an altercation between him and his mentor, Mr. Cameron (Stacey Keach), who is the leader of the movement, has a

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