Use this Film to Counter Hate with Empathy


“Unlike many other discussions of the alt-right, this documentary goes beyond a shallow understanding of white supremacists as ‘bad’ people to explore what circumstances draw them into these ideologies. A very useful teaching resource for courses on race, white nationalism, and white masculinity.”
— Dr. Raka Shome, Professor and Chair of Communication, Villanova University


Teaching about the rise of violent right-wing extremism can be daunting, to say the least. Discussions often generate more heat than light, more criticism and judgment than critical thinking and reflection, a tendency to call people out rather than calling them in.

The acclaimed film Healing from Hate: Battle for the Soul of a Nation derives its power from working in the opposite direction.

Drawing on the work of a group of former skinheads and neo-Nazis who have dedicated their lives to de-radicalizing violent extremists, award-winning filmmaker Peter Hutchison spends less time condemning the views and actions of violent extremists than he does trying to understand the sense of dislocation, fear, and shame that draws them to these groups in the first place.

The result is a remarkable educational resource, one that opens up space for conversation, empathy, understanding, and change.

Healing from Hate is available on DVD, via 7-day streaming rental through MEF, or through your university on the Kanopy streaming platformClick here to see if your university subscribes to Kanopy, and contact us if you’d like to host a virtual public screening.

Praise for Healing From Hate 


“A searing look at how bigotry, racism, and the discourse of dehumanization takes hold of individuals who are longing for some sense of meaning and community. This film should be shown to every student, adult, educator, librarian, and anyone else trying to understand how racism, bigotry, and xenophobia have moved from the margins to the center of power in the United States and what is being done to overcome the discourse of hate.”
— Dr. Henry Giroux | Author, American Nightmare: Facing the Challenge of Fascism


“The prevailing message is one of hope, hope that people can move away from lives of hatred to find empathy with those around them.”
— Andrew Brindle | Author, The Language of Hate: A Corpus Linguistic Analysis of White Supremacist Language


“Makes visible both the urgency of the threat of domestic extremists and the healing power of empathy to overcome the disease of hatred.”
— Beverly Tatum | Author, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?


“A no-holds-barred, raw masterpiece defining the causes and solutions for America’s ugliest disease: racism.”
— Daryl Davis | Author, Klan-destine Relationships: A Black Man’s Odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan


“Promises to spark the type of collective soul searching our nation desperately needs in these divisive times.”
— Adam Hodges | Author, When Words Trump Politics: Resisting a Hostile Regime of Language


“If I had only one film to show my students to make sense of the Capitol riot, this would be it.”
— Sut Jhally | MEF Executive Director, Professor Emeritus at UMass-Amherst