I just ranked Ice Cube’s top five acting performances in movies just one article ago. One of the movies I mentioned was Higher Learning and his role in that film. A sad realization just hit me about that movie. I remember that at the time it didn’t get the highest ratings. Critics felt that it was too strong a portrayal of racism and that it was above and beyond anything that could ever happen at a college. Have you buy any chance checked in on that movie lately? This movie is 22 years old, well before any school shootings or campus shootings took place on a regular basis.
The film follows the changing lives of three incoming freshmen at the fictional Columbus University: Malik Williams (Omar Epps), a black track star who struggles with academics; Kristen Connor (Kristy Swanson), a shy and naive girl; and Remy (Michael Rapaport), a lonely and confused man seemingly out of place in his new environment. What ensues is their realization of the separation of race and power in their university. I’d rather not ruin everything in case you haven’t seen it. However, let’s just say that the movie speaks volumes about today.
Even I at the time thought the movie was too dramatized. Boy was I wrong and boy were critics wrong. To this day the film only has a 50% rating from Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.5/10 on IMDB. While again, it’s possibly over the top for a “college” is it really? See it again and tell me it’s over the top. John Singleton called it back then.
Check out the trailer below: