TRIBECA WEEK! Hacking Hate Homages the Women Against White Supremacy

By   |   June 26, 2024   |   Entertainment

Our Theatre Diva, Caroline Cao, covers projects from the esteemed Tribeca Film Festival.

Do you remember how Donald Trump got kicked off the Twitter platform? Much of this owes to the warnings of whistleblower Anika Collier Navaroli, a Former Twitter Policy official (Twitter itself has been bastardized into Elon Musk’s ownership as “X”).

Anika Collier Navaroli

Navaroli is not the center of this documentary, but she’s a key supporting talking head in Hacking Hate, a chilling documentary following Swedish investigative journalist My Vingren’s (deemed “the real-life Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) unraveling the thread of a white supremacist network for three years. Her job involves going into the rabbit hole, creating a fake profile and a fake Swedish family, and then acquiring a DM invite to those underground networks that can claw into the dirty truths.

While the documentary recognizes their heroism as women who navigate misogynist harassment in online and social spaces, it is never self-congratulatory in its quest. The direction of Simon Klose is cleared-eyed and sober, with fellow cinematographers Iván Blanco and Tony Johansson opting for a gray sterilized framing.

Although the film follows Navaroli’s clinical Sherlockian eye to identify the leader of a hate group, the Nordic Federation “Vincent,” it does not sensationalize the reveals, and its observations are solemn. The editing offers glimpses into the cautious lives of whistleblowers, whose normalcy is punctured by the cesspool of misogynists and racists. Navaroli tells a childhood story of a racist attempting to murder her and her mother and the police, of course, did nothing.

As recapped in the documentary, the spread of pro-fascist content has led to tragedies like the January 6 Insurrection and the anti-Black racist murders in Buffalo, New York. Unless you lurked as among the unlearned and blissfully ignorant, little in Hacking Hate lands as fresh revelation, not even the Navaroli’s own confusion at the morsels of human facts about professional hate-propagator Vincent.

I have seen criticism that Hacking Hate does not offer solutions. But to be fair, an obvious and broad solution is illustrated: don’t treat expert whistleblowers, especially a more-than-qualified Black woman, like Cassandra Truth. Preventable measures are possible. An unquantifiable sea of unregulated hatred flows through the profit model of social media platforms. Watchdogs like Navaroli and Vengren are sounding the alarm, but the white supremacy industrial complex on social media blares louder. 

photo credit: Tribeca Film Festival

Filed Under: Entertainment
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