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American History X

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"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.

In his heyday, Derek Vinyard 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, 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 who finds empowerment through his affiliation with the VBWS, and Danny , 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 and the interest of his former high school principal.

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.

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