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.
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