- 2 hr 7 min
Directed by John Singleton, Higher Learning is a cinematic examination of race relations in America as evidenced by the interactions between different racial groups on an average college campus. Released by Columbia pictures in 1995, the 127-minute feature stars a galaxy of veterans and up-and-comers, including Ice Cube, Laurence Fishburne, Cole Hauser, Michael Rapaport, Omar Epps, Jennifer Connelly, and Tyra Banks, in her first movie. The movie begins at a freshman pep rally. The main three characters are introduced: Remy (Rapaport), an antisocial and somewhat lost kid looking for his corner of the sky; Kristen (Kristy Swanson), a shy, wide-eyed girl; and Malik Williams (Epps), a gifted track star whose academic record is less than stellar. Ice Cube plays Fudge, a super senior who lectures young brothers and sisters in his dorm room; he expounds on the perils of credit cards and the pitfalls of a racist socioeconomic/political system whose cards are stacked against African-Americans. Remy, his roommate, is neither enchanted or amused. Fudge repeatedly antagonizes Remy, insulting Remy's “hillbilly” music, and blasting hip-hop instead. When Fudge hosts a party that stretches into the wee hours, Remy calls security on the lot. Fudge points out that several white students blasting rock music down the hallway have not also been singled out. Fudge continues his attempts to alienate Remy, who promptly moves out. Remy falls in with white supremacists. Scott (Hauser), the ringleader, introduces Remy to racist ideology. Embraced by his new Aryan brothers, Remy shaves his head and starts wearing an iron Cross necklace, symbolizing his initiation into neo-Nazism. Scott shares his gun collection with Remy. Remy confesses he has been abused by his father, and that he hates him. The friends go out one night and stomp an African-American student. Meanwhile, Malik begins repeating Fudge's Afrocentric lectures verbatim. Remy snaps and crashes a peace fest with guns but is killed by police. In the aftermath, Malik decides to leave school.