American History X (1998)  stars Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, and Beverly D’Angelo. The film is classified as a Crime and Drama with a total run time of one hour and fifty-nine minutes. This film takes the audience into the story of a family torn apart by racism. Edward Norton plays a white supremacist who went to prison. We meet him and his family as he is getting released from prison. He is now fighting to keep his younger brother from walking down the same road he did.

 American History X as a Social Commentary

The film has a plot line but the main point of it is about character development. There are a lot of very intense personas in this movie. The story focuses on the main character, Derek, and his family. It does an excellent job of giving the audience a strong vision of how Derek becomes who he is at the start. They also do an amazing job at walking us through the evolution of his thoughts and ideas. This focus on the characters and how they address some of the misguided ideas of racist groups really gives a strong social commentary on the culture of racism and violence. That culture is even addressed in the subtle ways that racism can express itself and how people use some types of logic to rationalize their racist beliefs.


The use of cinematography in this film is extremely outstanding. Their use of shots really amplifies the message of the film. This movie would be diminished in the power of its message if the cinematography was not so brilliant. They use different frame times and angles to add a sense of emotion to what is happening at that moment. It helps the audience connect emotionally to the characters and be engaged with what is being portrayed on screen.

Final Verdict

This film is brutal but carries such an important message and they tell it extremely well. Love of Gothic would HIGHLY recommend this film and we give it a strong 5 out of 5 bats!

Five out of Five bats

Facing the Ugly Truth

American History X presents the audience with the ugly truth about racism in the United States. Despite the film being a bit older, it’s sad to say that this is still a relevant theme for today. Like this film, Goth culture tends to face the truth head on. It doesn’t matter if the truth is ugly or difficult to consider. Goth culture accepts the good and the bad without pretending the dark doesn’t exist. Love of Gothic seeks to create an inclusive online alternative community and present you with more than just what may be in your immediate circle of culture. Share this review on social media with others. Join our mailing list to be kept in the loop or create an account and provide a listing for your alternative business, music, or art. Join Love of Gothic today and build a closer community online!