October 29, 2018  (Web Review)

White Right: Meeting the Enemy

(2018) 55 min. DVD: $89: public libraries; $395: colleges & universities. Women Make Movies (www.wmm.com). PPR.

Reviewer rating: 2.5/4

Deeyah Khan, an award-winning Norwegian-British filmmaker of Pakistani and Afghan descent, traveled to the United States to conduct face-to-face interviews with members of the white nationalist and neo-Nazi communities. Some individuals featured here will be familiar to news junkies, most notably Richard Spencer and Jeff Schoep, while others are individuals who seem a little too enthusiastic to be on camera. Khan also winds up in Charlottesville during the violent Unite the Right march, giving her a ground-level view of the chaos being created by the hate movements. To her credit, Khan is able to coax articulate (if not rational) conversation from her subjects, who explain why they have taken up this extreme political position. But while she does confront them over their beliefs, the film itself doesn’t break any new ground in helping to understand the white nationalist movement and ultimately gives the hate groups the level of intelligent attention they crave. Still, this Emmy-winning documentary is very timely and should be considered a strong optional purchase. Aud: C, P. (P. Hall)