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American History X

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I'm not scared... I'm through with it... I'm done.

"American History X" is an unflattering and often disturbing look at the roots and consequences of racism. And like the hard reality that it attempts to mirror, there are no easy answers or simple solutions offered in this cautionary tale. Instead, it portrays the scourge of racism as an endemic and self-propagating problem, festering and feeding upon itself, resulting in distant consequences both unexpected and tragic.

Are we going to stand here quietly on the sidelines while our country gets raped?!

In his heyday, Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton of "Rounders") was one of the most outspoken members of the Venice Beach White Supremacist movement. A menacing figure, with his head shaved and a swastika tattooed across his breast, Derek was singlehandedly responsible for recruiting and organizing the disaffected white youth of his neighborhood, and then turning their anger and hostility against non-whites. A protege of Cameron (Stacy Keach), who pulls the strings of the VBWS from a safe distance, Derek led his followers on a series of heinous hate crimes against the visible minorities of the Venice Beach community, including an appalling attack on a Korean-owned grocery store. Among his most loyal followers are his rhetoric-spouting girlfriend Stacey (Fairuza Balk of "The Craft"), an overweight exterminator (Ethan Suplee) who finds empowerment through his affiliation with the VBWS, and Danny (Edward Furlong of "Terminator 2"), his younger brother.

That's why Derek started the DOC. He said that white kids shouldn't be scared to walk in their own neighborhoods.

However, one fateful night, Derek shoots and summarily executes some black youths attempting to steal his car, and he winds up serving a three-year sentence for manslaughter. While in prison, Derek's notoriety and fame grow among his fervent followers on the outside as they eagerly await his release so that he can lead them to greater glory. However, on the inside, Derek undergoes quite a different transformation, thanks to his friendship with a black inmate (Guy Torry) and the interest of his former high school principal (Avery Brooks of "The Big Hit" and "Deep Space Nine").

Has anything you've done made your life better?


When he is finally paroled, Derek's transformation is complete, and he is ready to put his intolerant ways behind him. However, he soon realizes that finding such reprieve is much more difficult that first thought. Cameron and the VBWS have been busy in his absence, organizing white supremacist groups along the West Coast, and they want Derek to lead them onto greater glory. On the other hand, the peers of the black youths that Derek executed three years prior have not forgotten, and are on an active lookout for him. Meanwhile, his mother (Beverly D'Angelo) is ill, and Derek must take over as primary breadwinner to

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