What Was the Point of the Ending of American History X?

American History X is a 1998 film that tells the story of Derek Vinyard, a former neo-Nazi who tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same path of hate and violence. The movie ends with an emotional scene that leaves many viewers wondering what the point of it all was.

The Ending

In the final scene of American History X, Derek is shot and killed by a young African-American man. The film then cuts to a flashback of Derek’s brother Danny, who was also involved in the neo-Nazi movement, writing an essay about his older brother’s transformation. In the essay, Danny explains how he has learned from Derek’s mistakes and is now committed to breaking free from the cycle of racism and hate.

The Meaning Behind the Ending

The ending of American History X is meant to be a powerful commentary on the consequences of hate and violence. Throughout the film, we see how Derek’s beliefs lead him down a destructive path that ultimately results in his death. The flashback to Danny’s essay serves as a reminder that even in death, Derek’s legacy lives on.

The message behind American History X is that hate only leads to more hate. By giving into our prejudices and biases, we perpetuate a cycle of violence and intolerance that affects not just ourselves but also those around us. It takes courage and strength to break free from this cycle and choose love over hatred.

Why Some Viewers Find the Ending Confusing

Despite its powerful message, some viewers find the ending of American History X confusing or unsatisfying. This is because it leaves many questions unanswered: What will happen to Danny now that his brother is gone?

Will he be able to stay true to his new beliefs? What about all the other characters we’ve met throughout the film?

However, it’s important to remember that this ambiguity is intentional. The filmmakers wanted viewers to be left with a sense of unease and uncertainty, to make them think about the consequences of their own actions and beliefs. The ending is not meant to provide easy answers or a neat resolution; it’s meant to provoke thought and discussion.

The Importance of American History X in Today’s World

Even though it was released over 20 years ago, American History X remains relevant today. The film’s message about the dangers of hate and the importance of breaking free from racism and intolerance is just as important now as it was then.

In a world where hate crimes are on the rise and racial tensions continue to simmer, American History X serves as a powerful reminder that we must be vigilant in our fight against hate. We must continue to challenge our own biases and prejudices, and we must stand up against hate in all its forms.

The Bottom Line

The ending of American History X may be confusing or unsatisfying for some viewers, but it serves an important purpose in reminding us of the consequences of hate. By choosing love over hatred, we can break free from the cycle of violence and intolerance that plagues our society.