Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Mathilda form an unusual relationship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade.
Derek Vineyard is paroled after serving 3 years in prison for brutally killing two black men who tried to break into/steal his truck. Through his brother, Danny Vineyard's narration, we learn that before going to prison, Derek was a skinhead and the leader of a violent white supremacist gang that committed acts of racial crime throughout L.A. and his actions greatly influenced Danny. Reformed and fresh out of prison, Derek severs contact with the gang and becomes determined to keep Danny from going down the same violent path as he did.Written by
The punk band Anti-Heroes sued New Line Cinema over a character's tattoo featuring the band. The band did not want to be associated with Nazis, even fictional ones, in any way. The band went on to record a song called "NLC" that debases the film studio. See more »
Derek forces the victim to bite the curb before smashing his head. After this incident, you can see the victim in an all together different position in the background as Derek walks away. See more »
The New Line Cinema DVD features 3 scenes deleted from the original theatrical version:
A scene in which an elderly black woman is harassed and made to cry on the boardwalk by a bunch of teenage skinheads.
A scene after the "party", in which Cameron and Seth go to a café and discuss Derek's change. They then harass a black guy/white girl couple, and then leave. A car is waiting outside, in which several black men watch them leave, before going after them. One black man inside the car remarks "Somebody's gonna get their ass whipped." The aftermath is not shown, but we later learn that Cameron and Seth were attacked.
A brief scene in the café near the end in which Derek winks at a little black girl and asks her if he looks okay.
When I first heard of "American History X," I thought it was going to be "just another movie." Man, was I wrong! The first time I watched it, I sat there as it ended, and I was just completely in a state of shock. This movie, more than any other movie I had seen on the subject of racism, really made me think twice about how I treated people of a different race. The way that Derek Vinyard's family was almost completely split apart and destroyed due to his racist beliefs should be a wake-up call to those people who have any racist beliefs whatsoever. I believe that this movie was a whole lot more than just a ground-breaking, controversial drama; it was a portrayal of exactly how much damage can be done to a family and a nation simply because of the hate for a person or people of a different color, for almost no reason at all. The Bible says that "God created man in his own image." It also says to, "Love your neighbor as yourself," which, right there, implies that racism is not something people should even consider. I wouldn't recommend that anyone under the age of 16 see this movie due to its graphic content and language; however, I believe that everyone who is over the age of 16, should see this movie at least once. This way, more people will get a chance to see the true consequences of racism, and how it can easily tear apart a family.
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