Released in 1998 by New Line Cinema, American History X is a serious drama that reveals racism and hate prevalent throughout the world today. Set in Southern California, where a real life white supremacy "Skinhead" movement has flourished off and on for more than a decade, American History X portrays the story of Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton). Vinyard, second in command of the local hate group, serves three years in the penitentiary for the brutal killing of two black men. However, in prison he finds the truth concerning his racist cohorts and is befriended by a black inmate. Upon his release from prison, Vinyard finds himself a changed man that must save his younger brother Danny (Edward Furlong) from the movement he helped establish.
Norton's intense portrayal of both sides of the elder Vinyard, first as the angry, hate filled racist, and then as the loving, older brother determined to save his younger sibling from following the same path, earned him an Academy Award nomination. This five star drama is emotional and powerful, and is filled with a recognizable cast including Beverly D'Angelo, Fairuza Balk, Elliott Gould and Stacy Keach. Not for the weak and weary, American History X delivers the brutality associated with all racist groups, white and black, through to its climactic ending.