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Facing Fear

A former neo-Nazi skinhead and the gay victim of his hate crime meet by chance 25 years later, are reconciled and collaborate in educational presentations.


A printer-friendly version of this page 23 minutes
SDH Captioned>>

Directed by Jason Cohen
Written by Jason Cohen
Co-Producer, Editor: T.M. Christopher
Director of Photography: Svetlana Cvetko
Associate Producer: Zand Gee
Editorial Consultant: Steven Okazaki
Original Music: David Kesler
A Jason Cohen Production in association with the Fetzer Institute





"An incredibly powerful story of forgiveness and hope." Jane Gauthier, Asst. Prof. Criminal Justice, CSU-Los Angeles
In this Academy Award-nominated short documentary, worlds collide when a former neo-Nazi skinhead and the gay victim of his hate crime attack meet by chance 25 years after the incident that dramatically shaped both of their lives. Together, they embark on a journey of forgiveness that challenges both to grapple with their beliefs and fears, eventually leading to an improbable collaboration...and friendship.

FACING FEAR retraces the haunting accounts of the attack and the startling revelation that brought these men together again. Delving deep into their backgrounds, the roots of the ideologies that shape how they handle the reconciliation process are exposed. Self-doubt, anger and fear are just a few of the emotions they struggle through as they come to terms with their unimaginable situation.



Grade Level: 9 - 12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2015     Copyright Date: 2013
DVD ISBN: 1-94154-538-6



Reviews
"Wonderful, rich, and compelling. Facing Fear provides a view of the inner damage suffered on both sides of human divisions, as well as the non-linear pathways to forgiveness and transcendence. It sheds light on the values of tolerance, mindfulness and compassionate dialogue. I will be recommending it not only for my students and clients, but also for scholars and researchers of humanity in every field."
Richard Ryan, Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry and Education, University of Rochester

"A moving lesson in forgiveness, the short film is a testament to the power of tolerance and diversity. Recommended for any collection, but especially for younger audiences."
David Gibbs, Library of Congress, Library Journal

"Facing Fear is an incredibly powerful story of forgiveness and hope. This documentary is not only a perfect tool for teaching tolerance, diversity and human relations in the classroom, but also serves as an example to everyone that genuine transformation and reconciliation are possible."
Jane Gauthier, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics, California State University-Los Angeles

"An inspirational story, this is highly recommended."
M. Puffer-Rothenberg, Video Librarian

"Highly recommended for school and public libraries."
Nancy Silverrod, School Library Journal

"A wonderful, touching film - Facing Fear illustrates that the gift of forgiveness changes lives. The courage that these two men possess, the love they share for one another, and the power of forgiveness truly creates a life-saving example for those who are lucky enough to hear their story."
Ronni Sanlo, Former Director, UCLA Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Campus Resource Center, Author, Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender College Students: A Handbook for Faculty and Administrators

"Facing Fear provides a timely real life example of the causes and harmful consequences of hate. It also, quite uniquely and powerfully, demonstrates the potential for hope and forgiveness for those involved in hate crimes. The story provides rich ground for student discussion of hate crime-related theory and practice, and will serve as an integral part of my graduate course on hate and discrimination."
Dr. Rob Cramer, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, University of Alabama

"This film reminds us that there is a kind of alchemy in victim and perpetrator escaping their definitions and coming to treat one another as full human beings. Tim and Matthew's lives were irreparably intertwined-through violence and ignorance. Their triumph is to intertwine them once again through compassion and knowledge."
Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann, Senior Associate Dean for Religious Life, Stanford University

"A fascinating and personal look at hate crime from two extremely distinct vantage points...The subsequent reconciliation and friendship between these two men provides a surprisingly hopeful tale from which much can be learned. Instructors from across a range of disciplines would find this short film very useful in discussions of prejudice, desistance from crime, and restorative processes of forgiveness."
Dr. Eric Madfis, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, University of Washington-Tacoma, Author, The Risk of School Rampage: Assessing and Preventing Threats of School Violence

"Watching these two strangers work together through the difficult process of forgiveness sends a powerful and hopeful message of how hate can be overcome. The film is well-suited for audiences exploring topics such as hate crimes, violence, inclusivity, and forgiveness."
Dr. Jessica Hodge, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology, University of Missouri - Kansas City

"Extraordinary and uplifting...Informative and powerful...Everyone in America-and in other societies where religion and chauvinism breed homophobia-should watch this film."
Jack David Eller, Anthropology Reviews Database

"Powerful film...Opens the door for further discussion."
Candace Smith, Booklist

"Could you forgive the person who nearly killed you, just for being who you are?...This concept and how it will uniquely affect any person that watches it is what makes this short film so powerful."
Spencer Stein, The Source

"Striking and surreal."
Kimberley Jones, The Austin Chronicle

"So superb...emotionally devastating -- not for the fainthearted."
Barry Paris, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Facing Fear is the kind of docu feature that deserves to be shown in classrooms everywhere, to teach young minds today of the hurt that intolerance can cause and that although to forgive and to ask forgiveness are two of the most difficult things a man can do, it is possible. Facing Fear dares to disturb our comfort zone and its bravery deserves an Oscar win."
Rama's Screen

"Remarkable-and it should be required viewing for schools nationwide."
Jared Mobarak, The Film Stage

"A gentle but penetrating short doc...Facing Fear reminds that our past mistakes needn't rule our future, and that we're all capable of growth and transcendence."
Jeffrey Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere

"Riveting documentary...A must-see."
Advocate.com

"A testament to Director Jason Cohen's skills [is] that after viewing this finely crafted short you want more."
Chris Hill, Cinema Assassin

"Truly remarkable to watch."
The Huffington Post

"Definitely Oscar worthy."
Independent Film Quarterly




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DVD Features
SDH captions for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, plus scene selection.

Links
The film's website
Excellent 32-page Facilitation and Discussion Guide
Fetzer Institute
Museum of Tolerance


Awards and Festivals
School Library Journal's 2015 Top 10 List
Nominated for Best Short Documentary, Academy Awards®
Audience Award, Best Short Documentary, Outfest LA LGBT Film Festival
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)
DocuDay Los Angeles
DOC NYC
Starz Denver Film Festival
Mill Valley Film Festival
Ashland Independent Film Festival
Newport Beach Film Festival
United Nations Association Film Festival
Irvine International Film Festival
Focus Film Festival
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival
Louisville LGBT Film Festival
BolderLife Film Festival
Out on Film Festival
Message to Man International Film Festival, Russia
DokuFest, Kosovo
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
Frameline San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival
Waterfront Film Festival
OutView Film Festival, Greece
ArcLight Documentary Film Festival
NewFest NY LGBT Film Festival
American Psychological Association Film Festival
ReadingFilmFEST

Subjects
Anthropology
At-risk Youth
Bullying
Conflict Resolution
Counseling
Criminal Justice
Diversity
Education
Forgiveness
Gender Studies
Hate Crimes
Human Rights
Humanities
Identity
LGBTQ
Law
Mental Health
Population
Prejudice
Psychology
Race and Racism
Religion
Restorative Justice
Social Justice
Social Psychology
Social Work
Sociology
Stereotyping
Tolerance


Related Titles

Forgiveness: A Time to Love and a Time to Hate
2-DVD set explores the human capacity to forgive through a compelling range of stories, from personal betrayal to global reconciliation after genocide.

Valentine Road
In 2008, eighth-grader Brandon McInerney shot classmate Larry King at point blank range. Unraveling this tragedy, the film reveals the heartbreaking circumstances that led to the shocking crime as well as the aftermath.

Between Joyce and Remembrance
A hard-hitting look at one of the many heinous crimes that came before South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Dhamma Brothers
An overcrowded maximum-security prison is dramatically changed by the influence of an ancient meditation program.

The Unforgiven
Should General Butt Naked (née Joshua Blahyi) - now a Christian pastor - be forgiven for his role in Liberia's horrific civil war?

Tina Machida in Zimbabwe
A young woman fights for the rights of gays and lesbians against the odds.

Boys Will Be Men
Some answers for the hard questions about growing up male in America.

Bully Dance
Delightful and provocative animated film gives insight on dealing creatively with bullies.

Together Against Violence
Poor Jamaican community overcomes violence.

God Among the Children
Community organization works with at-risk youth in Boston.

The Dilemma Of The White Ant
Dominic Ongwen is both a victim and alleged perpetrator of LRA war crimes. Should he face an international court?

In Search of International Justice
The first film about a crucial new commitment to the international rule of law: the International Criminal Court.

Whose Home on the Range?
The peace process between environmentalists, ranchers, and the U.S. Forest Service in the toughest county in the West.


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