Film Threat archive logo

Days of Hate

By Jason Delgado | June 22, 2024

PALM SPRINGS SHORTFEST 2024 REVIEW! Heartache and jealousy are some of the strongest emotions to overcome. Filmmaker and musician Oliver Shahery leans into both for his short documentary Days of Hate. It was originally supposed to be about documenting the making of a hardcore punk rock album for his New York City band Show Me the Body, but the heart of the film becomes about his breakup with a girlfriend, Gaby Valls, who leaves him for another man.

Right off the bat, Oliver’s running behind-the-scenes commentary is comical. He goes on about thinking his bandmate’s girlfriend/manager hates him and how he didn’t get paid much to make this documentary, but the record label thinks that he did. Between behind-the-scenes shots of the band getting ready to record, Oliver adds quick shots and introductions of himself and his ex-girlfriend, Gaby. He adds that the breakup had just happened while he was recording this, so he was really sad.

Throughout Days of Hate, you can tell that Oliver is in a depressing haze from his voice. Anyone who has been in that position knows that it sucks, and it’s difficult to focus on anything else. To add salt to the wound, the new boyfriend sent pictures to him of the two new lovebirds hanging out drunk in a car. The next shot is of the band recording some angry hardcore music, which fits the mood of the main subject. Show Me the Body’s music video features some burning coffins, further enhancing the emotional tension.

Oliver tries to conduct an interview about keyboards when lead singer Julian Pratt steps in the middle of it because he doesn’t want it in the movie. Punk rockers just being punks, I guess. Like a more literal version of the song, “There’s Always Something There to Remind Me,” Oliver is out on the town at night and happens to see Gaby’s car, which freaks him out.

“…the heart of the film becomes about his breakup with a girlfriend, Gaby Valls, who leaves him for another man.”

In a shocking turn of events for Days of Hate, Oliver gets back together with Gaby while still holding onto a lot of contempt for the other man, Oscar (who he complains about having too similar of a name). Oliver makes his recently reunited girlfriend show a picture of Oscar to the camera for the movie, which she says is “f****d up.” Julian gives a compelling speech about letting go of fear and instead leading with love (which is a bit ironic given the earlier scene of him stopping an interview, but he admits that it’s something he struggles with).

Oliver needs to get Oscar to sign a release form for the movie because of the picture he showed, which sets up some dramatic tension. I think, either subconsciously or consciously, Oliver is trying to get personal closure. They meet up in a bar, and it doesn’t go well. There’s a scuffle that we cannot see, but we hear Oscar say to Oliver, “You couldn’t even get hard for her.”

The documentary ends how it began with hilarious commentary by Oliver. He says that he has apologized to both Gaby and Oscar because making the movie was insanely toxic and uncool. “You just gotta lead with love. So, Oscar, I love you, and I hope you can forgive me. And I forgive you, buddy, thank you. Also, I get hard…all the time. A lot. I’m good like that dude, pretty good. Not like the best of the best of the best, but I’m good, so ha.” Fade to punk rock mosh pit.

The ending is just too funny and brutally raw, much like Days of Hate. Film imitates life, and we definitely saw a formative slice of life from everyone involved. Breakups are tough, but hopefully, people will learn to lead with love no matter what the circumstances are.

Days of Hate screened at the 2024 Palm Springs Shortfest.

Days of Hate (2024)

Directed and Written: Oliver Shahery

Starring: Show Me the Body, Gabriella Valls, Oliver Shahery, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Days of Hate Image

"…a formative slice of life from everyone involved."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon