Rolling Stone - 01/26/1995
"...An unapologetically confrontational film..."
USA Today - 01/01/1995
"...[An] appealing cast..."
Variety - 01/09/1995
"...[The] cast is solid....Ice Cube scores effectively....Fishburne is all commanding charisma..."
Los Angeles Times - 01/11/1995
"...Singleton remains a fluid filmmaker who works well with actors..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 01/11/1995
"...[Singleton] sees with a clear eye and a strong will, and is not persuaded by fashionable ideologies. His movies are thought-provoking because he uses familiar kinds of characters and then asks hard questions about them..."
The third installment in John Singleton's trilogy about South Central Los Angeles, HIGHER LEARNING examines mid-1990s university politics from racial, sexual, and economic standpoints. At fictional Columbus University (where a statue of the explorer stands witness to the dominant culture's supremacy), three freshman arrive to find a campus ready to explode. Malik (Omar Epps) wavers among the influences of revolution-preaching super-senior Fudge (Ice Cube), no-excuses Professor Phipps (Laurence Fishburne), and his motivated girlfriend Deja (Tyra Banks). Kristen (Kristy Swanson), another neophyte, is thrown into sexual confusion when she meets a charismatic lesbian, while the socially inept Remy (Michael Rapaport) can only fit in with the local skinheads. The storylines cross and complicate as each character tries to discover what's right, but the potential for violence grows with every wrong choice they make. Singleton recruited an emsemble of considerable talent to flesh out the complex plot, which allows him to deal efficiently with a breadth of concerns without preaching.
Campus Life |
Coming Of Age |
Race Relations |
Social Issues |
The film was shot on location in Los Angeles, California, partly on the UCLA campus.
The soundtrack includes songs by Ice Cube, The Brand New Heavies, Me'Shell Ndege Ocello, Liz Phair, Tori Amos, and Rage Against the Machine.