Who is Frank Meeink?
Frank Meeink became a skinhead at age thirteen. He roamed the country as an Aryan leader and Neo-Nazi recruiter with gangs that would beat people indiscriminately. By eighteen, he was doing hard time in an Illinois maximum security prison. While behind bars, Frank began to question his hatred, thanks in large part to his African-American teammates on a prison football league. Shortly after being paroled and desperately needing work, a Jewish antique dealer showed him compassion and offered him a job. This led Frank to defecting from the white supremacy movement. The 1995 Oklahoma City bombing inspired him to try to stop the hatred he once had felt. He is a member of the group Life After Hate and has appeared on MTV, CNN, and other major television networks. His book Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead was released world wide in 2010 by Hawthorne Books & Literary Arts. His most recent interview was on "Hard Ball with Chris Mathews" on August 7th, 2012 talking about the Sikh Temple shooting in Wisconsin (View a clip online).
How did this project come about?
Frank and I had phone conversation back in April of this year. He expressed a lot of concern with the rise in hate speech in politics using religion as a vehicle of delivery. Since I have known Frank he has always been a good Christian man. These days he has been feeling very confused about his own faith and where he belongs spiritually. I told him that Iowa is an extremely diverse state with almost every religion having some type of representation and not just in the major cities. They are scattered across the state. From the Maharishi University in Fairfield to the Mother Mosque of Islam in Cedar Rapids, Iowa is home to many people of many faiths. I told him that he should travel to each and learn about their beliefs and practices... and that he should let me document it.
Frank Meeink, a former skinhead from South Philly and now an activist who speaks out against the dark side of human nature, has fallen away from Christianity. The latest rise in extreme far right conservatism has led Meeink to feeling conflicted about his faith and where he belongs spiritually. Now he is on a search to find his own spirituality in Iowa, the heartland of America.
The budget for this project will go towards travel expenses, footage licensing, DVD manufacturing, distribution fees, DCP authoring, and marketing costs.
Your support on this project is greatly appreciated. Together we can make a difference.
Here is a collection of interviews with Frank Meeink:
Here is my director's show reel:
- (30 days)