Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg has teamed up with Alex Gibney to explore the emotion of hate in Discovery Channel’s series Why We Hate. The two have produced the show.
Directed by Geeta Gandbhir and Sam Pollard, the show goes deeper into social issues like the understanding of the concept of hate. It also looks at how as individuals we are capable of evading the expression of hate by realizing the after-effects of the same.
During an interview about the show, Spielberg shared instances where he was bullied for being a jew. “I encountered anti-semitism as an elementary school student. It was not throughout the entire school but small parts of popular kids would pick on less popular kids. In my case: zero popularity,” Spielberg said.
He added, “I didn’t think of it as hate but thought of it as a shame. I was ashamed of a lot of things and they managed with enough chiding and bullying to make me feel ashamed of being Jewish. I felt pretty much like an outcast. When I got older, I realised that bullying is a very pervasive tool to make other people feel like you are empowered.”
The director also said, “So, I was on the receiving end of people’s power trips and that was my main experience with being hated... something that I had no control over.”
The show follows individuals seeking to quell violent conflicts, and allows viewers to consider lessons from some of the most brutal and enduring examples of hate throughout the world.
“There has to be a kind of objective overview of hate. This documentary series attempts to show hate must never be considered a normal thing. It also attempts to show that the brain is a very supple and amazing organ, which is also very pliable and elastic even. Though the front cortex of the brain stops growing when you are 25 years old, it’s a changeable system. This centrally means that hate can be unlearned,” he said.