"Anatomy of Hate" Director to Visit Doane

Anatomy of Hate director Michael Ramsdell

Filmmaker Michael Ramsdell, the director of the political documentary award winner "The Anatomy of Hate," will visit Doane's undergraduate campus in Crete in October, sharing the results of his efforts to answer the timeless question: "Why do we hate?"

Ramsdell will give a 7 p.m. keynote lecture in Heckman Auditorium Thursday, Oct. 19. The event is free and open to the public, sponsored by Doane's Multicultural Support Services and the Wettergren Endowed Fund. Ramsdell will visit Doane classes Oct. 18-19.

"The Anatomy of Hate: A Dialogue for Hope" (2010) was nominated for documentary-of-the-year on the Documentary Channel. The documentary follows Ramsdell's six-year journey with groups including the white supremacists and Muslim extremists. It searches for common themes of hatred through the lenses of sociology, anthropology and even neurology.

At its heart, it explores what creates hate in groups and individuals. However, the film also demonstrates how these deep human traits make us equally capable of overcoming them.
"It's a film that challenges, informs, and inspires. An invaluable tool for anyone who believes that the path to peace is through a deeper understanding of our common humanity," said Michael Bochenek, Amnesty International, Director of Policy.
Ramsdell's work examines some of the most venomous ideologies and violent conflicts of the modern age, including the White supremacist movement, Muslim extremism, Palestinian Intifada, Israeli settlers and soldiers and U.S. forces in Iraq. 
"What I found was, for me, life changing," stated Ramsdell. "There was no boogieman, no devil, nor any single person or group of evil at the center of all this violence, war, and hate. Instead I found a planet full of creatures doing their best to fill the void of existence with limited psychological tools, and emotional shortcomings - myself included. And instead of embracing these shortcomings and using them as empathetic links to our fellow men, I discovered that our psyche turns them into mythological monsters that we can project onto others, declaring those ‘others' as inferior, evil, or deserving of death."

The film includes thought-provoking interviews with leading sociological, psychological, and neurological experts.
Ramsdell is a native of Flint, Michigan. He grew up in a family dedicated to social causes. His inherent love for storytelling made directing documentary films a natural fit. He launched Under The Hood Productions in 2003 to develop and produce thought-provoking, independent narrative and documentary films. He currently resides in Brighton, Michigan, with his wife and children.
For more information, contact Wilma Jackson at wilma.jackson@doane.edu.