“The Anatomy of Hate” will be shown at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, in the Brandt Student Center Ferrari Room as part of Shenandoah’s Step Up! initiative. The film’s director, Mike Ramsdell, will host a discussion after the showing. “The Anatomy of Hate” is the Best Political Documentary award winner at the 2009 Philadelphia Independent Film Festival. This 90-minute film reveals the shared narratives found in individual and collective ideologies of hate, and how humans can overcome them.
“It’s a film that challenges, informs, and inspires. An invaluable tool for anyone who believes that the path to peace is through a deeper understanding of our common humanity,” said Michael Bochenek of Amnesty International.
The creation of “The Anatomy of Hate” represents one determined man’s quest for the answer to an age-old question: Why do we hate? The film examines some of the most venomous ideologies and violent conflicts of the modern age, including the White supremacist movement, Muslim extremism, Palestinian Intifada, Israeli settlers and soldiers and U.S. forces in Iraq.
“What I found was, for me, life changing,” Ramsdell said. “There was no boogieman, no devil, nor any single person or group of evil at the center of all this violence, war and hate. Instead, I found a planet full of creatures doing their best to fill the void of existence with limited psychological tools, and emotional shortcomings – myself included. And instead of embracing these shortcomings and using them as empathetic links to our fellow men, I discovered that our psyche turns them into mythological monsters that we can project onto others, declaring those ‘others’ as inferior, evil, or deserving of death.”
Gritty, often harsh first-hand footage is interspersed throughout the film with thought-provoking interviews with leading sociological, psychological, and neurological experts; along with tales of redemption told by former ‘haters’ to show both the emotional and biological mechanisms which make all people susceptible to acts and ideologies of hate. However, the film also demonstrates how these very deep human traits make us equally capable of overcoming them, and that’s where hope is revealed.