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Yojimbo's Movie Reviews (2316)

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American History X 
"American History X" by Yojimbo
4/4 stars

One of the ringleaders of a Nazi skinhead gang is imprisoned for the murder of a black car thief, but whilst cut off from his peers he begins to question all of the principles he has based his life upon. American history X is an extremely powerful examination of racial politics in contemporary America, seen from the standpoint of a High School boy who idolises his older brother, the afore-mentioned skin head. It shows how the seeds of racism can be sown through the seemingly innocuous comments of those who shape our young minds and how charismatic charlatans can exploit the disenfranchised for their own agenda by spouting superficially convincing sounding, pseudo-intellectual bullshit that seems to fill the void of their hope-free, hate fuelled lives. The cast are all extremely convincing in their roles and there are some extremely powerful scenes that will stay with you a long time. It's an extremely relevant drama because all of these points can be applied just as much to other forms of extremism; Stacy Keach's insidious white supremacist could just as easily be a fundamentalist Imam preaching hatred toward the "infidel". The only off note in the concept is that the ending feels a little contrived, but it's one of the most intelligent as well as well meaning dramas on the subject I've ever seen. A must see.


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