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Healing from Hate: Battle for the Soul of a Nation

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Former alt-righters break good in compelling documentary.

Movie NR 2021 85 minutes
Healing from Hate: Battle for the Soul of a Nation Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 1 parent review

age 10+

History of Truth

Very compelling and informative. Had my Grandchildren watch. Wonderful message.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Thoughtful and compelling, this documentary makes a powerful case for compassion and empathy as the best tools to lead members of hate groups away from their extremist ideologies. It's a message that's easy for the soft-hearted to swallow, but it doesn't make this film a comforting watch. The combination of Albian Gagica's spiky, swastika-laden graphics, Anthony Karen's photographs of angry young White men, and Malcolm Francis' strident electronica score gives viewers a sort of creeping unease that's exacerbated by shots of modern-day headlines and protests that explicitly underline the jump that hate has taken in America during the Trump administration.

Healing from Hate's exploration of mass shootings and murders in Charlottesville, Pittsburgh, El Paso, and Christchurch, New Zealand, also serves to illustrate another serious point: The alt-right movement is one with a real body count. How did we get here? As Dr. Michael Kimmel, author of Healing from Hate: How Young Men Get Into -- and Out of -- Violent Extremism, points out, the internet has vastly escalated the spread of hateful information, while at the same time, its anonymity allows people to hatch their beliefs in safe secrecy. Then, there's the emotional pull: "They feel dispossessed, as if something's been taken from them," says Kimmel, while an ex-skinhead sums it up like this: "When you come up from nothing and you got nothing, a little bit of power feels so good." By illustrating how people can turn from hate to acceptance, Healing from Hate makes it clear that support, community, and tolerance have their own power, one that changes minds -- and lives.

Movie Details

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