Peter D. Hutchison’s seasonable doc is coming out at a time when the ubiquitous influence of the internet makes it easier for susceptible minds to get caught under the weight of barren antagonism against minorities. And in the wake of the Trump election, there’s been a shocking increase in hate group activity, as seen in the heartbreaking tragedies of Charlottesville, Pittsburgh and Parkland, Florida, which the doc also deftly examines in an effort to understand what it will take to restore purpose and identity to a cohort of choleric white men. Those at Life After Hate will help them do so, but they have to take the first step.
In regard to the film’s aesthetic, Albian Gagica’s graphics and Anthony Karen’s photography heavily convey the harsh history of hate groups, and how there’s enough of it, maybe even more of it to go around now that the internet connects the world, inevitably disconnecting it in the process. Malcolm Francis’ score is uncannily strident, evoking the sounds of drums and electronica, making for a fitting score that develops the terror all around us. But in the face of panic, hope continues to exist, and forgiveness is still possible.
“…to understand what it will take to restore purpose and identity to a cohort of choleric white men.“
The various interviews with former neo-Nazis, skinheads and white supremacists all come with horror stories, genuine feelings of penitence, and the moment they realized they wanted to flee the life of violence they got entangled in at a very young age. And there lies the greatest fear for those striving to leave these radical movements: the fear of death or being branded an enemy of the group. Whether somebody joins in prison or on the streets, these hate groups roam the nation, preying on those who have lost their way. But with the assistance of Life After Hate organization, who dedicate their time and resources for those who want to unmask the strength of love and healing, absolution is achievable.
Healing From Hate: Battle for the Soul of a Nation lets us all cognize the hate that ceases to vanquish, even more considerably in the Trump era, but still allowing us to appreciate the work of those who are working endlessly to bring the ones back from this life of rage and vicious chauvinism. The ones at the Life After Hate organization dream of a better world, and with every punctured soul they save, the more closer they’re getting to prove that tolerance and love always wins.
"…their experiences with brutal honesty, expounding their abusive childhoods and their kernels of anguish."