New interactive films shows implications of far-right involvement in UK
The group, “open your eyes to hate”, seeks to tackle the rise in popularity of far-right groups in the UK
New interactive film, named “Choices”, was released last week by anti far-right and anti xenophobic group Open Your Eyes To Hate. The film depicts the perspective of protagonist Liam experiencing a snowball effect of consequences when he involves himself in a far-right and islamophobic group based in the UK.
Playing as Liam through the first person, the film begins with Liam talking to his friend Lisa about their frustration that Liam’s disabled mother is stuck on the third floor of a block of flats and have been discussing alternative residence for her with no luck.
You then begin to take your disabled mother to a clinic to be seen by a doctor but are told that there is a long wait to be seen. Whilst this is occurring, TV and radio plays news stories regarding the migrant crisis setting the ambience of people being fed up with the rise of immigrants in the country.
The first interactive part of the film is introduced here where you can either share a xenophobic “English Defenders” Facebook post (the far-right group in the story) or share Lisa’s Facebook post which reads “#stopthehate”. The film gives you feedback on your choices however automatically takes you down the route where you share the “English Defenders” post to progress the story which prompts the group to message you for a meet up at a local pub.
Liam’s story is inspired by real life accounts of far-right group members.
The group responsible for the video, Open Your Eyes To Hate, launched in July 2016. The group aims to tackle all forms of extremism in the UK by creating short films and articles dispelling myths around extremist facts and figures.
One such video involves ex English Defence League member, Ivan Humble. After having a discussion with a Muslim man about his involvement with the EDL, Ivan decided to leave the far-right UK group. Ivan realised that the two were not so different and thus wanted to remove himself from the ‘bubble of hate’ he had put himself in.
Mr Humble commented on the “Choices” film saying:
“The Choices film is a unique attempt to highlight the importance of critical thinking in the digital age by demonstrating how split-second decisions have major consequences.”
The film is certainly justified in its creation as there has been a surge in far-right groups popularity and a rise of hate crime reporting.
According to the Office of National Statistics, there were 62,518 offences recorded by the police in which one or more hate crime strands were deemed to be a motivating factor. This was an increase of 19 per cent compared with the 52,4651 hate crimes recorded in 2014/15
Citivas, a group made up of researchers who analyse civil society, also highlights that there has been a rise of hate crime reportings post-brexit. Whilst the figures may be up, the only valid conclusion from this information would be that the perceiving of hate crime has gone up – something Citivas highlights in their conclusion.