Back to All Events

Documenting Hate: Charlottesville (free)

  • Vilas Hall 821 University Avenue Madison, WI, 53706 United States (map)

A new documentary follows the fallout of 2017's infamous Unite the Right rally. Info


PBS' Frontline and the nonprofit newsroom ProPublica have teamed up to showcase an ongoing investigation into contemporary hate groups, with part one, Documenting Hate: Charlottesville, released this year in early August. Near the beginning of this one-hour documentary, produced by reporter A.C. Thompson, Thompson says, "if Charlottesville was a crime scene, then most of the criminals had gotten away." He takes this as his thesis after detailing his own experience at the 2017 Unite the Right rally, where activist Heather Heyer was murdered by a white supremacist terrorist. Here we also see lesser-known footage of police standing by while right-wing extremists beat up anti-racist protestors. Thompson then focuses on tracking down individual white supremacists who were present at the rally, some of whom the FBI has known about for years. Others are flying under the criminal investigation radar, even as they've been identified inciting violence at protests across the country.

As Thompson digs, it becomes clear that there are multiple well-known, violent white supremacist leaders who travel from rally to rally, instructing newer members on tactics. This reporting leads to multiple consequences, as a white supremacist who worked at the enormous defense contractor, Northrop Grumman, is identified and subsequently fired, in addition to an at-the-time active duty U.S. Marine, who was spotted attacking counter-protesters. Documenting Hate shines when it shows the vital work of investigative reporting as it is being done, as Thompson works with local reporters, academia-based experts and victims of violence, and confronts white supremacists face-to-face. Frontline executive producer and UW-Madison alum Raney Aronson-Rath will visit in person here to lead a post-screening discussion. The Price Of Gold, an ESPN 30 For 30 documentary on controversial figure skater Tonya Harding, will follow at 7 p.m. —Reid Kurkerewicz

Earlier Event: September 7
JVN Day 2018 (free)
Later Event: September 7
Dusk, Double Grave