Higher Learning

Higher Learning has a great many things on its mind, which immediately places it in a rather exclusive catagory of American films these days. John Singleton's third feature is concerned with matters such as group think, individuality, the importance of education, political correctness, sexual identity, labels, personal responsibility and racial tension.

With:
Omar Epps Kristy Swanson Michael Rapaport Jennifer Connelly Ice Cube Jason Wiles

Higher Learning has a great many things on its mind, which immediately places it in a rather exclusive catagory of American films these days. John Singleton’s third feature is concerned with matters such as group think, individuality, the importance of education, political correctness, sexual identity, labels, personal responsibility and racial tension.

Focusing mostly on members of an incoming freshman class at fictitious Colombus University, pic takes a heightened interest in three students: Malik (Omar Epps), a politically unformed black runner on a sports scholarship; Kristen (Kristy Swanson), a naive white girl from Orange County who gets a rude awakening at school; and Remy (Michael Rapaport), a social misfit from Idaho.

Malik’s early doubts about his enthusiasm for track are turned around by foxy runner Monet (Regina King). Kristen launches her college career by getting drunk and date-raped. Resulting trauma sees her being consoled by earth-motherly lesbian Taryn (Jennifer Connelly). Loner Remy falls in with a tiny band of white supremacists who read aloud from Mein Kampf.

As one of many character sketches on a broad canvas, this would have been OK. But in the final act, Singleton narrows his focus almost exclusively to Remy and his black adversaries.

Despite this dramatic derailment, Higher Learning still packs a fair amount of power thanks to the force of the ideas being discussed. Cast is solid, with Epps, Swanson and Rapaport ably registering their immature characters without actually plumbing psychological depths.

Higher Learning

Production: New Deal. Dir John Singleton; Producer John Singleton, Paul Hall; Screenplay John Singleton; Camera Peter Lyons Collister; Editor Bruce Cannon; Music Stanley Clarke Art Dir Keith Brian Burns

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1995. Running time: 127 MIN.

With: Omar Epps Kristy Swanson Michael Rapaport Jennifer Connelly Ice Cube Jason Wiles

More Film

  • 2017 Tribeca Film Festival slate

    Palm Springs Film Review: 'The Last Movie Star'

    Higher Learning has a great many things on its mind, which immediately places it in a rather exclusive catagory of American films these days. John Singleton’s third feature is concerned with matters such as group think, individuality, the importance of education, political correctness, sexual identity, labels, personal responsibility and racial tension. Focusing mostly on members […]

  • Australia Film Funding: 'Go Karts,' '100%

    'Go Karts,' '100% Wolf' Head Funding Slate for Screenwest, Screen Australia

    Higher Learning has a great many things on its mind, which immediately places it in a rather exclusive catagory of American films these days. John Singleton’s third feature is concerned with matters such as group think, individuality, the importance of education, political correctness, sexual identity, labels, personal responsibility and racial tension. Focusing mostly on members […]

  • 'The Gold Seekers' Review: Palm Springs

    Palm Springs Film Review: 'The Gold Seekers'

    Higher Learning has a great many things on its mind, which immediately places it in a rather exclusive catagory of American films these days. John Singleton’s third feature is concerned with matters such as group think, individuality, the importance of education, political correctness, sexual identity, labels, personal responsibility and racial tension. Focusing mostly on members […]

  • 'No Drowning' Filmmaker Mélanie Laleu Discusses

    MyFrenchFilmFestival: 'No Drowning' Writer-Director Mélanie Laleu Discusses Her Competition Short

    Higher Learning has a great many things on its mind, which immediately places it in a rather exclusive catagory of American films these days. John Singleton’s third feature is concerned with matters such as group think, individuality, the importance of education, political correctness, sexual identity, labels, personal responsibility and racial tension. Focusing mostly on members […]

  • 'The Confession' Review: Palm Springs Film

    Palm Springs Film Review: 'The Confession'

    Higher Learning has a great many things on its mind, which immediately places it in a rather exclusive catagory of American films these days. John Singleton’s third feature is concerned with matters such as group think, individuality, the importance of education, political correctness, sexual identity, labels, personal responsibility and racial tension. Focusing mostly on members […]

  • Phillipe Le Guay Talks About 'Normandie

    Q&A: Phillipe Le Guay Talks About 'Normandie Nue,' SND Scores Major Deals (EXCLUSIVE)

    Higher Learning has a great many things on its mind, which immediately places it in a rather exclusive catagory of American films these days. John Singleton’s third feature is concerned with matters such as group think, individuality, the importance of education, political correctness, sexual identity, labels, personal responsibility and racial tension. Focusing mostly on members […]

  • Playtime Boards Olivier Assayas's 'Non Fiction'

    Playtime Steps Into Olivier Assayas' 'Non Fiction' with Juliette Binoche, Guillaume Canet (EXCLUSIVE)

    Higher Learning has a great many things on its mind, which immediately places it in a rather exclusive catagory of American films these days. John Singleton’s third feature is concerned with matters such as group think, individuality, the importance of education, political correctness, sexual identity, labels, personal responsibility and racial tension. Focusing mostly on members […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content