American History X

Question: What does D.O.C stand for?

Chosen answer: The tattooed DOC on gang members' arms means Disciples of Christ - the gang that they belong to in the movie.

Question: What was the point of the ending? What message was it trying to send? We have a whole movie sending an anti-racist message, but then a black guy kills Danny for blowing smoke in his face. I'm sure this wasn't the movie's intention, but it kinda seems like we're supposed to believe Derek was originally right and shouldn't have changed.

raph

Chosen answer: No, the message is absolutely not that Derek was originally right. The last part just shows there is evil on both sides and not only the neo-nazis need change. Danny changed, but too late to be saved from being murdered for racist reasons. Its a classic Shakespearean tragedy.

lionhead

Question: What happened to Little Henry after he killed Danny in the bathroom?

Chosen answer: We don't find that out. It happens right at the end of the film, and we don't get to see the aftermath.

Purple_Girl

Question: We see something going on between the corrupt skinhead and the Hispanic criminal inside the prison, and it makes Vinyard leave that gang. What exactly was the arrangement by the skinheads to 'protect' Vinyard?

Chosen answer: It's quite simple: He was one of them, a fellow skinhead. In prison different groups stick together for mutual protection and comradeship, and as neo-nazis/skinheads would be fairly unpopular with the colored inmates, all the more reason for them to protect each other.

Twotall

Question: How does curb stomping someone kill them? It will obviously destroy their teeth, but it doesn't look very fatal.

raph

Chosen answer: "Curb stomping" is a form of assault in which a victim's mouth is forcefully placed on a curb after which the head stomped from behind. Depending on the force of the stomping, the practice may, indeed, cause severe injuries and sometimes death. Any time you have a person's head being crushed between a hard, immovable object and an object moving with force, it is not unreasonable to posit that death can result - either immediately from the trauma, or later due to internal injury and bleeding.

Michael Albert

Answer: The stomp is to the neck. It breaks the neck and causes death.

Question: How did Sweeney know Derek got raped? How and why would Derek ask for his old history teacher to come visit him instead of anyone else, like his family?

raph

Chosen answer: Someone would have told Sweeney what happened (guard, nurse etc.). Derek would have called Sweeney down because he did not want his family to know that he got raped, because it might make him look helpless and destroy his image. Sweeney was really the only person he knew that wasn't a skin-head.

Dra9onBorn117

Question: At the start of the film, Danny is given is given the paper and told he has to hand it in the next morning. At the end, Danny is at school ready to hand it in. Does that mean that aside from the black-and-white flashback scenes, the movie took place over 24 hours? It's hard to believe so much happened in such a short amount of time.

raph

Chosen answer: Yes, apart from the flashbacks the whole movie is set over 24 hours.

The_Iceman

Question: When Derek's dad says at dinner something to the effect of, "And then after eating we'll go watch the big guy play." who is he talking about that they will watch later on?

Chosen answer: He is talking about Derek. "(The) Big Guy" is just an affectionate term he uses for his son.

Twotall

Question: During the basketball game near the start of the film, what does Danny say to Seth after Seth gets into the bet with the black guy that makes him say, "Danny, when I want your opinion I'll ask for it"?

Chosen answer: Danny says "It's 8-6, Seth" meaning that the black guys only need to score 2 more hoops, whilst Seth's team needs 4. Danny doesn't believe Seth can win, so he is reminding him what the score actually is.

Migster

Question: How much time did Derek do? Also, Derek killed a couple guys, and his black friend stole a TV, so how could he have gotten out sooner than his friend?

Chosen answer: The difference in their punishment is one of the major points of the film. It's about racial injustice, and that black offenders get harsher punishments than white offenders. For the friend, it isn't stealing the TV that gets him the long sentence. It's that he dropped it on the cop's foot which the prosecutor twisted into in attempted murder charge. Derek did a few years for killing the one guy, but as he was white, the dead guy black, and Derek was, at least at the beginning of the events, defending his home, property, and arguably the lives of his family and himself, his sentence wasn't nearly as harsh.

johnrosa

Question: The family's front door swings out rather than in. I know in places such as Florida, this is due to the hurricane weather so the door does not get blown in. However, in this movie, the family resides in California. We don't have front doors that swing outwards because we do not have hurricanes. Was this a mistake or was there a reason for the door to swing out?

Chosen answer: Just because it's uncommon or even rare for an outer door to swing outwards, doesn't make it a mistake or even special.

Greg Dwyer

Question: What accent did Sweeney have? It sounded like he was from a foreign country but moved to America when he was young.

raph

Chosen answer: It's Avery Brooks' natural Indiana accent.

Greg Dwyer
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Mistakes

When Danny gets shot at the end of the film, his paper flies out of his hand. But the very next shot of him shows that the paper is still in his hand being held over his head while he falls backwards. In one of the following shots the paper is back on the floor, but it's on the opposite side it should have been when it flew out of his hand. It's all shown in slow motion and it's very obvious.

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Trivia

The ending was originally different. After the scene where Derek is crying over Danny, it cut to Henry being arrested, then his family in the kitchen mourning him and saying he was a good boy, and then Derek shaving his head again while smiling. When Edward Norton read the script, he said "I thought the movie was supposed to be anti-Nazi." So the ending was soon changed.

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