Same job, different uniform.

Friday, April 27, 2007

American History X

I don't know if I'd actually recommend the movie, "American History X" -- at least to anyone who can't handle large quantities of verbal obscenities and enough violence/sex in two or three scenes to give the entire film an iron-clad R rating. It is hard to watch. So hard, in fact, that I don't know how in the world I agreed to watch it a few years back. Some of it, I wish I could forget; but much of it, I'm glad I remember.

If you don't know anything about the film and plan to see it, then this paragraph might be a bit of a spoiler...

There is a profoundly powerful scene that doesn't need swelling music or tearful embraces to be unforgettable. It consists of a former skinhead, who's just been released from prison, and a younger brother, whom he is trying to "de-indoctrinate" of racist ideology. After sharing his life-changing and mind-changing experiences from the big house, the main character breaks through to his younger, idolizing brother. Without saying a word, the two of them proceed to slowly and methodically take down layers of racist propaganda tacked to the bedroom wall, including a giant Swastika flag.

When the wall is blank, big brother -- with his head now full of hair -- puts his arm around the brother with a shaved head. The two of them looking at that wall, with all that junk in piles on the floor, is a beautiful moment -- and not just cinematically. It's so satisfying and cathartic. If you are willing to sit through the ugliness, this moment is worth it.

I just wanted to share that little vignette. Redemption is always a good story.

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Blogger girlfriday said...

This is an interesting post! What in the world made you think of it?

It almost makes me want to suck it up and watch the movie. Almost.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


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