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Review: ‘Hate Among Us’ targets the rise of anti-Semitism in U.S. and Europe

A photo of anti-Semitic vandalism, including swastikas, featured in the documentary “Hate Among Us.”
A photo of anti-Semitic vandalism featured in the documentary “Hate Among Us.”
(Associated Television International )

History ominously repeats itself in “Hate Among Us,” a troublingly relevant but notably selective examination of the global resurgence of anti-Semitism co-hosted by the documentary’s executive producers, Dean Cain and Montel Williams.

Cain and Williams, who served in a similar behind-the-scenes capacity for “Architects of Denial,” chronicling Armenian genocide, survey the recent spike in hate crimes leveled against Jews around the world while joined by travel show personality Laura McKenzie (also an executive producer) on one of her “voluntourism” trips to Israel.

Along the way, director David McKenzie draws a chilling through-line from Hitler’s ascendancy in the 1930s to the present-day rise of emboldened Islamic terrorists, neo-Nazis and other far right extremist factions, who, unlike Ku Klux Klan members, don’t feel they have to hide their hatred under hoods.

Back in America, the film briefly covers events in Charlottesville, Va., as well as synagogue shootings in Pittsburgh and Poway, Calif., but while pointing to social media as a frightfully efficient tool for rallying hate groups, it manages to skirt any discussion of how incendiary tweets and retweets emanating from the White House might possibly be helping fan those flames of intolerance.

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While the escalation in anti-Semitic violence and rhetoric is justifiably alarming, “Hate Among Us,” which spends a lot of screen time covering attacks in Paris and Berlin, would have made for more incisive viewing had its exploratory journey kicked off closer to home.

‘Hate Among Us’
Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

Playing: Starts Dec. 20, Arena Cinelounge Hollywood


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