TAKE A STAND AGAINST HATE
From Charlottesville, to Boston, to New Orleans, to Berkeley - hate has become the central, guiding conversation about who we want to be as a country. Through our eye-opening experience with this film over the past 8 months, we've learned there's one thing everyone wants to know: "What can I do to help - to make a difference?"
People are hungry for answers - for understanding. Of course, hate and violent extremism never rises in a vacuum - so, with the cooperation of anti-hate activists Life After Hate and Angry White Men author & sociologist Michael Kimmel, we've created a project to help people both unpack, and address, the root causes of intolerance.
We're 80% of the way through principle photography on the story that weighs heavily on our nation's conscience – from the rise of the Alt Right & White Nationalism; to the senseless violence of Charlottesville; to the struggles of disenfranchised Americans looking for meaning, identity and purpose; to the dangerous escalation of anti-immigrant sentiment.
Counter to the 24/7 news cycle, which so-often fuels division, our perspective is unique – it’s a deep dig, focused on understanding, empathy, healing and meaningful change.
Bolstered by the rise of Trump and the Alt Right, Americans are being radicalized into White Nationalism at an alarming rate. Healing From Hate: Angry White Men and the Alt Right explores the circumstances behind this phenomenon, and the courageous work of those who have made their way back from violent extremism.
Our film is structured upon the remarkable work of those battling intolerance on the front lines - Life After Hate, a group founded by ex neo-Nazis and Skinheads, who have dedicated their lives to helping transform hatred and intolerance in others; and the groundbreaking sociologist and author Michael Kimmel (Guyville, Angry White Men), whose forthcoming book, Healing From Hate, focuses on the rise of hate as a global phenomenon, and the underlying appeal to a new generation of men in search of meaning and purpose.
Life After Hate was initially envisioned as a support network for ex-haters attempting to transition back into the mainstream. But with hate on the rise, the group began to focus on community engagement and direct interventions with active hate group members. These compelling formers, all with deeply moving stories of their own, carry a uniquely personal understanding of the roots of hate, and work with haters at the crossroads with an approach grounded in empathy, support and compassion.
Sociologist Michael Kimmel’s work focuses on understanding the psychological process of white radicalization, and crucial role of deep-seated needs around masculinity – factors our society can no longer risk ignoring. The insight gleaned from his extensive research with de-radicalization groups around the world results in the stark conclusion that in America, as well as in the Muslim world, the core issues are the same: our societies are failing our young men, and we are failing to understand them.
In the spirit of both Kimmel and Life After Hate, Healing From Hate: Angry White Men and the Alt Right will unpack the current cultural war of ideas in a balanced and non-judgmental way. To that end, the project features disparate voices from across the cultural spectrum: from controversial leaders of the Alt Right, Jared Taylor (American Renaissance/New Century Foundation) and Richard Spencer (National Policy Institute); to social justice leaders Heidi Beirich (The Southern Poverty Law Center) and Oren Segal (The Anti-Defamation League); to civil rights leaders, pundits and academics.
Hate is part of a profound change in the crumbling American Dream, and in light of the 2016 Presidential election, the stakes have only intensified. How is it that we’ve come to turn our anger against one another? In these times when civil discourse has nearly perished, we seek to shine a light on the roots of hatred, and a potential path forward - through a prism that refracts light out toward a more tolerant world.
For a look at more material from the project, visit our VIMEO PAGE
Eight months in the making, we’re 80% of the way through principal photography - with exclusive interviews and access, 100s of hours of exceptional footage, and a tremendous jump on the editing process. We couldn't possibly be better positioned to tell this story, but we've gotta move in order to get it out there quickly – get it seen – and make a difference.
Your support in reaching our minimum goal of $20,000 will allow us to pick up the crucial field shoots and interviews that remain, and complete a festival rough cut by year’s end. If your support gets us to our stretch goal of $40,000, we’ll also be able complete the post-production process – and tackle the music, color grade, sound mix and graphics – to be ready for the film festival circuit and distribution marketplace.
We’re at a critical crossroads in America – with the choice of continuing to fuel divisiveness or, rather, address issues of hate head-on and understand what is happening, and why. At BIG TENT, my filmmaking partners and I believe the choice is a clear one - and we are dedicated to making real progress in turning back the rising tide of hatred and hateful acts.
Film can be used as a powerful tool to tell stories, increase understanding, and reach a wide audience. In concert with outreach programs currently in development with strategic partners, it’s our aim to bring the film to communities across the US and world – to help foster tolerance and compassion as core values we can all embrace.
Want to make a difference? We invite you to stay involved and help create screenings in your community - to engage people in this crucial dialogue.
Risks and challenges
We're pushing to finish our film as soon as possible, but there are certain circumstances inherently out of a filmmaker's control - for example, our coverage of Life After Hate, as we follow their remarkable, unfolding story. The cultural impact of Charlottesville and vociferous public response to the withdrawal of their DHS grant by the Trump Administration has had a profound and unforeseen effect on their profile and work on the front lines of hate. Positioned as never before, their story has gained momentum, and we intend to follow it, wherever it goes.
This caveat extends to our coverage of events such as the rallies/protests in Charlottesville, Boston and St. Louis - and when the next critical expression will occur.
Of course, no one can fully control the distribution trajectory of a film, but as experienced filmmakers with a track record of success, we're confident in our ability to insure it is widely distributed and seen. In fact, the project has received early interest from one prominent film festival (which we're unable to disclose), and several major distribution outlets.
All of that said, getting this film out to the broader public - as soon as possible - is our fundamental aim. Please support us, and help by taking a stand!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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