White Right: Meeting the Enemy

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White Right: Meeting The Enemy
White Right: Meeting The Enemy
GenreDocumentary
Directed byDeeyah Khan
Theme music composerDanny Farrant
Nick Kingsley
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
Production
Producers
Deeyah Khan
Andrew Smith
Darin Prindle
CinematographyDeeyah Khan
Darin Prindle
EditorMelanie Quigley
Running time60 minutes
Production companyFuuse Film
DistributorFuuse Film
Release
Original release11 December 2017 (2017-12-11)

White Right: Meeting the Enemy is a 2017 documentary film by Deeyah Khan. The film is produced by Deeyah's production company Fuuse and received its world premiere on ITV in December 2017.[1]

Deeyah travels to the United States to meet with some of the country's most prominent neo-Nazis and white supremacist leaders to seek to understand the personal and political reasons behind the apparent resurgence of far-right extremism in America. She made the film after being interviewed on TV about multiculturalism for which she received many threats and hate speech on social media.

Carol Midgley, writing for The Times, wrote of the film: "Part investigative journalist, part almost psychotherapist, Khan uses hard and soft skills to discover what drives such hatred and forces people to face her, their so-called enemy".[2]

Synopsis[edit]

Meeting the Enemy sees Deeyah sitting down face-to-face with neo-Nazis and white nationalists after receiving death threats and racially-charged hate mail from the Far Right movement as a result of giving a BBC TV interview advocating diversity and multiculturalism.[3][4] In the film Deeyah tries to get behind the hatred and the violent ideology, to try to understand why people embrace far right extremism.

After covering a Ku Klux Klan rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, she received permission to meet with Jeff Schoep, the leader of the National Socialist Movement (NSM). Afterwards she receives permission to film the group at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, where the group gets into an altercation with and are pepper-sprayed by Antifa counter-protestors. After the death of Heather Heyer and President Donald Trump's controversial remarks on the rally, Schoep takes Deeyah to the urban decay in Detroit and explains that he moved the organization's headquarters to the city to take advantage of its economic decline for recruiting. Deeyah later tells Schoep about her experiences at anti-racist demonstrations during her childhood in Norway, and shows him both the BBC interview and the hate mail, causing Jeff to become visibly discomforted by the racial slurs in the emails.

Deeyah next travels to a training camp run by the NSM's director for public relations, Brian Culpepper, in rural Tennessee. After becoming well-acquainted with him, she asks Culpepper if he would follow through with his desire to deport all non-whites to create a white ethno-state if he would have to do it to her, and he demurs, then reluctantly says yes. She also visits antisemitic and homophobic skinhead Ken Parker at his home in Jacksonville, Florida, where he is studying political science. Although Ken goes through with his plan to make antisemitic flyers and distribute them to Jewish communities and synagogues, he begins to visibly develop positive attitudes towards Muslims, partially due to Deeyah's friendliness. His girlfriend would email her two weeks after the meeting informing her that Ken was expelled from the University of North Florida for a threatening post on a student Facebook account however. Deeyah also notes the rise of the alt-right in the United States, and meets Richard B. Spencer, who displays an openly elitist attitude, and Jared Taylor, who compares multiculturalism to mental illness and HIV/AIDS.

In Milwaukee, Deeyah meets with Arno Michaelis, a former skinhead and lead singer of the white power rock band Centurion, who expresses remorse for his violent actions. She also travels to New York City to meet with a former skinhead, Frank Meeink, who explains he was drawn to neo-Nazism due to his troubled youth with intense physical abuse from an alcoholic father, providing him a source to psychologically project his hatred. She also meets with Pardeep Singh Kaleka, a survivor of the 2012 Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting in Oak Creek, learning how he now works with Michaelis to dissuade youth from extremism. Culpeper also makes a Skype call to Deeyah announcing his intent to resign from the NSM partially because of his meeting with her.

Cast[edit]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Result
2018 Emmy Award Current Affairs.[5] Won
2018 Royal Television Society Director - Documentary/Factual & Non Drama.[6] Won
2018 PeaceJam Special Jury award [7] Won
2018 Rory Peck Award Sony Impact Award for Current Affairs [8] Won
2018 WFTV Awards The BBC News and Factual Award [9] Won
2019 APA Film Festival Best Short Film Award Won
2018 Asian Media Awards Best Investigation.[10] Won
2019 Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival Jury Awards[11] Won
2018 British Academy Film Awards Current Affairs.[12] Nominated
2018 Frontline Club Awards Broadcasting.[13] Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "White Right: Meeting The Enemy - Exposure". www.itv.com. 21 November 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  2. ^ Carol Midgley (12 December 2017). "White Right: Meeting the Enemy". thetimes.co.uk.
  3. ^ Emine Saner (4 December 2017). "The Muslim director who filmed neo-Nazis: 'I thought – I'm not going to make it out'". www.theguardian.com. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  4. ^ Inger Bentzrud (14 December 2017). "Hun våger å se fanden i hvitøyet" (in Norwegian). dagbladet.no. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Ny Emmy-pris til Deeyah Khan – for filmen der hun møtte fienden" (in Norwegian). dagsavisen.no. 2 October 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  6. ^ RTS (26 November 2018). "Winners of the RTS Craft & Design Awards 2018 announced". rts.org.uk. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  7. ^ NTB (22 June 2018). "Deeyah Khans høyreekstremist-dokumentar vant pris i Monte Carlo" (in Norwegian). www.medier24.no. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  8. ^ Rory Peck Trust (1 November 2018). "WOMEN FREELANCERS TRIUMPH AT RORY PECK AWARDS 2018". rorypecktrust.org. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  9. ^ STEWART CLARKE (6 December 2018). "Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Rungano Nyoni Win Women in Film & TV U.K. Awards". variety.com. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  10. ^ Raj Baddhan (26 October 2018). "The Asian Media Awards 2018 were held on Thursday 25th October at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate". bizasialive.com. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Festival Awards". bhrff.webs.com. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  12. ^ "CURRENT AFFAIRS". www.bafta.org. 4 April 2018. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Shortlist 2018". www.frontlineclub.com. 7 October 2018. Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2018.

External links[edit]