I'm sure you can tell by the poster, this movie is not a family friendly piece. I can't remember how I found out about this film. I remember it being in a conversation with a friend, after it was out of theaters. I can't imagine seeing this film on the big screen. I am not sure it was something that even played in many theaters in the city because of its graphic nature and rigorous, brutal truths. The visuals in this film are beautifully disturbing. The plot line of the film is a rehabilitated skin head, Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton) trying to save his brother (Edward Furlong) from the crooked path of the hate and violence within the culture of the white power movement. There are two scenes in this movie that are poignant and artfully done, but unfortunately severe. One is of the racial murder Derek Vinyard (Norton) commits and the other of him being raped in prison.
Edward Norton should have won an Oscar for the performance. Norton projected enough anger that the audience could feel his seething hatred through the screen, his path to redemption is equally stirring, hopeful and real. The movie is shot in black in white to represent the past aligning Derek's character with old beliefs, motives, understandings and anger. The other half of the film is in color masterfully allowing the desperate nature of Derek to change flourish. While black and white film has it's limits, it is a perfect contrast for the white on everyone racial violence that occurs as result of Derek's brainwashed, deluded, powerful thinking. The color filming allows the audience some peace, and break the tension created with the association of the black and white anger and violence.
This movie is amazing. I would let every senior in America watch it and let it provoke exactly what it is meant to provoke: discussions on racial violence in cultures, in education, in criminal activism, government programs; discussions on hate and fear and the radical power it has over our daily lives; discussions about what true brotherhood is about, peer pressure, thinking for one's self, the consciousness instilled in us by our parents, the very being and nature with which we project ourselves to others. Unfortunately, it is graphic and excessively disturbing. I love this movie. I watch it every once in a while to remind me of who I am and who I can be in a blink of an instant if I let my anger get the better of me.
I recommend anyone see it, but know, you will be disturbed.