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The Cure for Hate

Directed by Peter Hutchison
Documentary Feature
United States | 80 min | 2023

In the Jewish tradition, tshuvah means “return”, and describes the return to God and our fellow human beings that is made possible through repentance for our wrongs.

Tony McAleer is a former Skinhead and Holocaust denier who went on to become a founding member of the anti-hate activist group Life After Hate. Profoundly aware and deeply ashamed of the lineage of hate he’d once promoted, Tony had long-contemplated traveling to Auschwitz in the spirit of tshuvah – to bear witness to the inconceivable ravages of the Holocaust, and deepen his personal work against the rise of extremist politics.

THE CURE FOR HATE documents his profoundly personal journey of atonement to Auschwitz/Birkenau – exploring the conditions that allowed for the rise of fascism in 1930s Europe; shedding a unique light upon how men get into, and out of, violent extremist groups; and serving as a cautionary tale for our time that underscores the dangers in allowing hate to be left unchecked.

News & Reviews

“Two former high school classmates, one black and one white, explore a complicated familial history in director Louise Woehrle’s incredible documentary, A Binding Truth Cinemacy
https://cinemacy.com/a-binding-truth-review/

“A BINDING TRUTH rides a whirlwind of subject with impressive mastery” Film Threat
https://filmthreat.com/reviews/a-binding-truth/

Documentary Review: “A Binding Truth” – Friendship, Slavery’s Legacy and Uncomfortable Pasts.” GHMovieFreak
https://www.ghmoviefreak.com/documentary-review-a-binding-truth-friendship-slaverys-legacy-and-uncomfortable-pasts/

“A Binding Truth shows that even over a century after Slavery was abolished in the country, African Americans in the Deep South still suffer from its curse. However, the film also valiantly explores hope in the form of a growing willingness for expiation and reconciliation.” ReviewRon
https://ronakkotecha.wordpress.com/

“A Binding Truth is currently on the festival circuit, and it is the kind of documentary that one could easily see becoming an attraction on PBS or the History Channel and used in schools to put a personal face on an issue that sadly remains an abstraction for many Americans.” 1 More Film Blog
https://1morefilmblog.com/2023/11/05/a-binding-truth-woehrle-2023/

“I highly recommend anyone, regardless of their racial/ethnic background, to see this film. It’s deeply insightful and profound, with plenty of important yet applicable life lessons.”
FlixChatter Film Blog
https://flixchatter.net/2023/10/27/tcff-2023-documentary-review-a-binding-truth-2023/

“This new documentary, directed by Louise Woehrle, had a reception well earned for Woehrle and her team, as A Binding Truth elegantly traces the complex backstory of two men, once high school classmates, now close friends and more. audience at the 2023 Twin Cities Film Festival in tearful, grateful applause.” Film Obsessive
https://filmobsessive.com/film/film-news/festivals/tcff2023-decades-later-two-men-discover-and-embrace-a-binding-truth

“It’s not shoving a message down our throats. It’s presenting a story through these two men and the lives they touch so we can just feel what we want to feel, and maybe it’ll awaken something in us or give us a new perception. ” Sun Current Newspaper
https://www.hometownsource.com/sun_current/community/e

A recent well-publicized study found that 66% of millennials, and 41% of American adults, cannot even say what Auschwitz was. It’s this sort of data that has prompted several European nations to make secondary school visits to WW2 death camps mandatory – so that the lessons of the Holocaust are not forgotten.

“The Cure For Hate” contributes to these efforts by taking the viewer on a powerful journey through Auschwitz they might otherwise never experience – and frames the Holocaust as stark reminder of where unchecked hate can lead, while exploring the roots of hate and how to effect change.

As a result of my work on the film, “Healing From Hate”, I’ve spent the past several years now immersed in the world of anti-Semitism, violent extremism and hate group activity. Through this, I’ve come to believe that hate is not intrinsic – I believe it’s learned.

I’ve seen that, under the “right” set of conditions, people can be taught, can be encouraged, can be manipulated to hate – to turn their own insecurities, fears, disempowerment & shame outwards, and to project it onto an objectified “other”.

The need to belong; the need to feel empowered; the need to rid oneself of shame are all forceful ones – but the capacity to see others as “inhuman” requires us to disassociate with the humanity, and the compassion, within ourselves.

I believe this is where the work is, and this is where the questions need to be asked – asked of our selves; asked of one another; asked of the viewer of this film.

In this way, The Cure For Hate allows for a deep dig into how young men get into – and out of – hate groups. But it also provides the opportunity to place the contemporary proliferation of hate group activity and anti-Semitism in a historical context. There are many lessons to be taken from the Holocaust – lessons that have come at a terrible price. As Auschwitz serves to starkly remind us – when hate is left unchecked; when it’s normalized; it can lead to monstrous and inhumane acts of cruelty and violence.

It’s been an honor to work with and learn from such an inspiring group of people. In the midst of disturbing and uncertain times, they’ve shown me – time and time again – that there’s a hopeful way forward. I believe this film captures and conveys that crucial message and spirit.

The Cure for Hate - Poster

Peter Hutchison

Peter Hutchison
Director

PETER HUTCHISON is an award-winning filmmaker, author, educator and activist.

His films include “Requiem for the American Dream (ft. Noam Chomsky)”, “The Cure For Hate: Bearing Witness to Auschwitz”, “Devil Put the Coal in the Ground”, “Healing From Hate”, and the forthcoming “The Invisible Doctrine: The Secret History of Neoliberalism”

His writing includes the NY Times bestselling “Requiem for the American Dream”, with Noam Chomsky, and “The Invisible Doctrine: The Secret History of Neoliberalism”, with George Monbiot (May 2024 release).

His longstanding commitment to issues around male identity has resulted in the trio of films “You Throw Like A Girl: The Blind Spot of Masculinity”, “Angry White Men: Masculinity in the Age of Trump”, and “The Man Card: White Male Identity Politics from Nixon to Trump”.

A sought-after commentator on issues of hate, racism and masculinity, he has appeared on NBC, CBS, PBS, NPR, FOX and The Minority Report. A frequent speaker at the invitation of colleges & universities, he holds an M.S. in Counseling Psychology with a focus on Addictions and Systems Dynamics.

Film Information

Director: Peter Hutchison
Country: United States
Year: 2023
Language: English
Runtime: 80 min
Rated:  R

Credits

Producer: Peter Hutchison, Lucas Sabean
Writer:Peter Hutchison, Tony McAleer
Key Cast: Tony McAleer

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BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival