American History X (1998)

TONY KAYE

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

USA, 1998.  New Line Cinema, Savoy Pictures, The Turman-Morrissey Company.  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by Tony Kaye.  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .  Academy Awards 1998.  

Powerful film tackles racism in America without flinching for a second. Edward Norton plays a young man being released from prison after having murdered two men while being involved in a white supremacist group. Now that he is coming home, his family implores him to help save his younger brother () from finding the same fate. Told mostly in flashbacks, some scenes of this film are so disturbing that they are not to be seen by sensitive viewers, but the story is too significant to be ignored. Supporting cast is also a plus, including Furlong and a wonderful as the boys’ exasperated mother.  Director Kaye requested his name be removed from the credits after Norton exercised his capacity as producer to keep some of his lengthier speeches in the film; the result is an obvious result of the clashing of wills, as the scenes in question stick out as unnecessary and actually seem like an actor flexing his muscles rather than telling a story.  That said, it’s a bravura performance and an impressive film.

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