Hate, a documentary by Nadav Eyal, an Israeli journalist, explores prejudice toward minorities and foreigners in Europe by uniquely engaging with both victims and perpetrators of xenophobia in an effort to “understand how the virus of anti-Semitism survives and continues to infect.” The film, which was released last year and has since received numerous awards, is set to screen in the U.S., beginning Tuesday at the JCC in York, PA, then in New Jersey and Oregon, before heading to the Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival on November 17. Eyal—influenced by his work as an international correspondent for Israel’s Channel 10, as well as by Newsweek‘s 2014 coverage of the “Exodus” of France’s Jews—made Hate because he is “interested in how [hateful] ideas become globalized.”
In the film, Eyal travels to Greece, Germany, and the UK, where he interviews Jews and Muslims, about their experiences with racism. However, it’s Eyal’s unique access to and portrayal of the perpetrators of anti-Semitism and xenophobia that sets the film apart. In Athens, where anti-Semitism looms large, Eyal meets with Konstantinos Plevris, mentor to former Greek Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis, who also appears in the film in a desperate attempt to prove he’s not an anti-Semite. Plevris, whose dissonant prose is mediated by Eyal’s scripted commentary, is a controversial far-right author and Greek Supreme Court lawyer, convicted for inciting racial hatred against Jews. As evidenced by the film’s trailer, Plevris showcases a head-scratching dogma, one in which he denies Jesus’ Jewishness, insists that there is not “one bank that is not controlled by the Jew,” indicts Jews as the cause of capitalism and communism, while praising Israel as the model state, all in one breath.
Read more: Exploring ‘Hate’. A documentary by Israeli journalist Nadav Eyal examines ‘the virus of anti-Semitism’ in Europe. By Hannah Vaitsblit (November 4, 2015).