Political documentary award winner “The Anatomy of Hate” to screen at Carter Center
Fourth Annual Atlanta International Documentary Film Festival showcases meaningful independent films
ATLANTA, GA August 27, 2009 – Winner at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival 2009 for Best Political Documentary, The Anatomy of Hate; A Dialogue for Hope by filmmaker Michael Ramsdell of Under the Hood Productions, will screen at 6:00 pm on Saturday, August 29, 2009 at the Carter Center in downtown Atlanta as part of this year’s Docufest independent film festival.
This ninety-minute film reveals the shared narratives found in individual and collective ideologies of hate, and how humans as a species 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, Amnesty International, Director of Policy.
The creation of The Anatomy of Hate represents one determined man’s quest for answers to an age-old question: Why do we hate? Initially moved by the horrors of 9/11 and wondering how he might help create a better world, Ramsdell began a six year odyssey that led him to capture some of the most venomous ideologies and violent conflicts of our time including the White Supremacist movement, Christian fundamentalism as an anti-gay platform, Muslim extremism, the Palestinian Intifada, Israeli settlers and soldiers, and US Armed Forces in Iraq.
“What I found was, for me, life changing,” stated Ramsdell. “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.
“Hope that if man creates hate, he can also un-create it. And indeed I met some amazing people doing just that – overcoming their cultural hard-wiring to reach across enemy lines”, Ramsdell added, “More than anything, I believe it is dialogue that will move us past the barriers of fear, cultural conditioning, and stereotypical thinking – to an understanding aligned with the eternal truth that we are all one. It is my highest vision that this film, and its core concepts, will serve as a catalyst for that dialogue.”
The filmmaker states that his creed as a social change entrepreneur is: “Nothing can happen without understanding. Nothing will happen without hope. Nothing does happen without action.”
Michael Ramsdell will be available to answer questions following the film screening and at the Docufest after party.
For more information about the film, Mike Ramsdell, and persons featured in the film, visit: http://anatomyofhate.com/about
About Under The Hood Productions
A production company launched in January 2003 in Atlanta, GA by filmmaker Michael Ramsdell to develop and produce thought provoking, independent narrative and documentary films, like “Montclair” and “The Anatomy of Hate”. A native of Flint, Michigan, Ramsdell currently resides in Brighton, Michigan with his wife and children.