Muslim filmmaker Deeyah Khan’s Emmy-winning look at the personal and political motivations behind the resurgence of far-right extremism in the U.S.
US/UK/Norway | 2017 | 55 minutes | Color | DVD | Order No. 181227 |
In this Emmy-winning documentary, acclaimed Muslim filmmaker Deeyah Khan meets U.S. neo-Nazis and white nationalists including Richard Spencer face to face and attends the now-infamous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville as she seeks to understand the personal and political motivations behind the resurgence of far-right extremism in the U.S.
Speaking with fascists, racists and proponents of alt-right ideologies, Deeyah, attempts to discover new possibilities for connection and solutions. As she tries to see beyond the headlines to the human beings, her own prejudices are challenged and her tolerance tested. When she finds herself in the middle of America's biggest and most violent far right rally in recent years, Deeyah's safety is jeopardized. Can she find it within herself to try and befriend the fascists she meets?
With a U.S. president propagating anti-Muslim propaganda, the far-right gaining ground in German elections, hate crime rising in the UK, and divisive populist rhetoric infecting political and public discourse across western democracies, WHITE RIGHT: MEETING THE ENEMY asks why. The film is an urgent, resonant and personal look at race wars in America.
'Deeyah Khan is an extraordinary filmmaker. She uses hard and soft skills to discover what drives such hatred and forces people to face her, their so-called enemy: it gets under their skin and yields results."
"An entirely worthwhile film and - given that Khan has received death threats in the past - a brave one, too."
"But Khan’s mission is not to simply document the appalling, hate-filled actions and notions of appalling people and leave it at that. She asks, ‘What makes people do the things they do? What makes people who they are?’ To do that, she spends ages watching and talking with these people. It’s an act of extreme bravery on her part."
SCREENING HIGHLIGHTS AND AWARDS
- BAFTA Award Nominee, Current Affairs
- PeaceJam Special Jury Prize, Monte Carlo Television Festival
- Emmy Award, International Current Affairs
- Best Director - Documentary, Royal Television Society
Documentary director and producer Deeyah Khan has won two Emmys, a BAFTA, an RTS and two Peabody Awards in over a decade of making empathetic and unflinching films which deal with some of the most important and polarizing issues confronting the world today; extremism, violence against women, inequality, racism and social exclusion.
Deeyah has filmed with battle-hardened jihadis, members of armed militia groups, American domestic terrorists and white supremacists, with incisive, illuminating and often surprising results. After she spent over a year filming with members of the United States’ largest neo-Nazi organization, including filming them on their notoriously violent march through Charlottesville in 2017, three high-ranking figures, including the leader, left the movement and rejected its white supremacist ideology. All of them credit their encounters with Deeyah as the catalyst for them to leave the extremist movement.
The Times of London says of her: "She is one of the bravest, most indomitable women... facing down bullies and extremists with intelligence and unflinching spirit.”
Born in Norway to Muslim immigrant parents, Deeyah’s experience of the beauty and the challenges of living between different cultures shapes her creative vision, informing the emotional honesty and humanity which characterizes her films.
Released in 2012 Banaz: A Love Story, her first multi-award-winning documentary, chronicled the life and death of Banaz Mahmod, a young British Kurdish woman murdered by her family in a so-called honor killing. Deeyah's second film, the Bafta-nominated Jihad in 2015, involved two years of interviews and filming with Islamic extremists, convicted terrorists and former jihadis. White Right: Meeting the Enemy, in which she interviewed key figures of the American far right, won her a second Emmy award in 2018. More recently, the BAFTA award-winning film America’s War on Abortion saw Deeyah explore one of the most divisive issues in American politics, while Muslim in Trump’s America charted rising Islamophobia and hate crimes against Muslims against a background of political and online hatred and division. The latter film won Deeyah a second Peabody Award.
In 2010 Deeyah founded her media, arts and education company Fuuse, with the aim of creating space for more inclusive and diverse stories; in 2016, she was appointed the first UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Artistic Freedom and Creativity.
Deeyah is increasingly sought after as an advisor and speaker for her unique insights and her skills in listening- and empathy-based approaches to conflict resolution. Her method of building connections across social, racial, and personal divides, honed over ten years of filmmaking on the frontline, aims to deepen understanding through achieving a recognition of our shared humanity, and building a new way of being in the world based upon our inter-connectivity. (4/23)