“I’m a woman of color,” declares documentary film-maker Deeyah Khan at the beginning of her documentary White Right: Meeting the Enemy, as she sits down to interview Jared Taylor, a well-known white supremacist. “I am the daughter of immigrants. I am a Muslim. I am a feminist. I am a lefty liberal. And what I want to ask you is… am I your enemy?”
“White Right: Meeting the Enemy” focuses on the rise of nationalism in America, from the “alt-right” to neo-Nazis. In the film, Ms. Khan interviews leaders of the white supremacy movements and were with them during the Charlottesville rally last August. Ms. Khan’s main focus in the film is to find out the humanity behind these hate groups. “I already know what they stand for, I’m not interested in their ideology. What I was interested in was trying to find the human beings behind the facade and to see what else there is to these people – and is it possible for me to sit with my enemy and for them to sit with theirs?”
The filmmaker continues, “I absolutely am not asking for people to feel sympathy for these guys – I don’t feel sympathy for them – but that does not exclude my ability to try to empathize with them. Having experienced racism my whole life, I decided that hating them or being afraid wasn’t enough for me any more.”
“White Right: Meeting The Enemy” received its world premiere in the UK this month, and will be shown internationally in 2018.