This is from the movie ‘American History X’. I remember loving this movie the first time I saw it, overawed by the power of it. I watched it again a wee while ago and enjoyed it immensly once again, even though I was a little disappointed with some of the overly convenient constructions and contrivances of the film, seen through more adult eyes, but I was still drawn powerfully to this dialogue. It’s very powerful in the context of the story, describing simply and elegantly the crescendo of a transition in a life, a complex process brought to a head around a basic question that is extrodinarily hard to ask, yet horribly easy to answer.
Bob Sweeney: There was a moment… when I used to blame everything and everyone… for all the pain and suffering and vile things that happened to me, that I saw happen to my people. Used to blame everybody. Blamed white people, blamed society, blamed God. I didn’t get no answers ’cause I was asking the wrong questions. You have to ask the right questions.
Derek Vinyard: Like what?
Bob Sweeney: Has anything you’ve done made your life better?