“Hate is baggage. Life is too short to be pissed off all the time; it’s just not worth it.”
Derek Vinyard is scholar literature honors student and his fireman father was killed in nigger neighborhood by black men. Influenced and fired by the racist Hitler literature and reviews of Cameron Alexander he became a rebel face of white power, formed a gang of white young men harassed by niggers. One night under rage he killed black guys who came to steal his car and get arrested. After spending three years in jail, Derek is back with sea change transformation but what he sees returning his own home is unwanted picture. Now his gullible younger brother becomes the mouthpiece of Cameron’s racial army gang.
It’s a powerful film on the issue of racism focusing the emerging white power triggered by a fanatic ideology and followed up by bunch of frustrated, insecure young students joining the bandwagon. The film is questioning very pertinent contemporary problems of illegal immigrants and bunch of criminals threatening American society culture and economy. We read everyday facts in newspaper and it’s affecting every country in some or other way. It’s dark, unhealthy but a harder reality. Minority and majority of colors, creed or race are all bullshit because when you’re alone its you in minority and not any damn political ideology. The real truth is what the teacher told Derek in cell, “Your anger is shutting down the brain God gave you…you have to ask right questions like- Has anything you have done make your life better?”
In a skinhead, swastika tattoo clad chest Edward Norton delivered a performance of life time. Surely one of the great Hollywood acting I’ve seen in last decade. In both shades of his character he’s just matchless here. The rest of the cast i.e. Edward Furlong as Derek’s younger brother Danny or Beverly D’Angelo as Derek’s mother or any small or big character all acted their parts so convincingly.
Tightly scripted and brilliantly narrated in non-linear shifting black & white and color cinematography by cinematographer-director Tony Kaye, it’s a film which hits your head high with a message of universal brotherhood cutting lose to all our bias towards racism.