Hate 2 Love Review


AKA: N/A

Genre: Crime Drama/Romance

Year Released: 2015

Distributor: 1023 Entertainment

Origin: USA

Running Time: 6 minutes
Rating/Recommended Audience: PG-13
Related Films/Series: N/A

For Fans Of: American History X, Welcome to Leith, The Horseshoe Effect
Notes:
-This film is streaming on YouTube.

Fun Facts:
-Director Dixon White (not to be confused with the anti-racism vlogger/activist of the same name) acted in Casting JonBenet and has his work featured at Sundance.


I was curious when I was searching for random short films on YouTube. Okay, Vimeo is more of my thing (that’s saying nothing about my video projects there *AHEM*), but I wanted to see what gems I could find on the biggest video platform on the net. Mix that in with some controversial content I’ve been known to review, and I was ready to watch and critique it.

Hate 2 Love is about a White Supremacist gang member named Dickie who’s trying to be re-recruited back into the old gang. His initiation involves beating up a Black man in order to rejoin this criminal organization. He’s told to go to the gang’s next meeting, but he can’t go because he has to visit a court ordered meeting which the leader understands despite being frustrated. As Dickie is finished with this aforementioned meeting, he meets a black woman named Mahari who takes an interest in him. She’s unaware of his bigoted history and Dickie hides his open affiliation by wearing a hat that covers a giant Swastika tattoo on the back of his bald head.

The concept of the plot was very intriguing like some star-crossed lovers, but with a racist undercurrent. I honesty didn’t know how this plot would manifest with these polar opposite characters meeting each other while none of them know each other’s history. Sure, I knew there would be some huge blowback in the end, but I didn’t know how it would play itself out.

Besides the obvious mention to American History X or to a different extent The Birth of a Nation, I couldn’t think of any other White Supremacists that were shown as the protagonists. Dickie is certainly a conflicted character. He wants back in this Aryan Nationalist gang while at the same time, he develops feelings for a minority woman. That was a fascinating contrast in his emotions and goals. I also liked that he had some guilt which really manifests in the ending as his life becomes unexpectedly exposed. Also, his real name is Willard of all things which Mahari makes fun of him for as she threatens to call him by that name instead of Dickie if they don’t go out for coffee. I thought that was a funny touch despite the dark undercurrents of the film.

Hate 2 Love has a unique premise, but not all of the execution was there. The first big thing I noticed was the audio issues with the background music. It would fade in and out so fast during the dialogue scenes in such a distracting manner especially in the beginning of the film. I also had an issue with Mahari’s origins being vague. She says she’s from Africa, but never which country. I’ve met people directly from that continent in real life, and everyone of them will tell you which country they’re from (I’ve met people from Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa, Chad, Zimbabwe, and Sudan among other African nations, by the way). I did think it was cool how her name meant “one who offers forgiveness”, but she never says what language it’s from. One internet search later, and I find out that Mahari is a Yoruba name which is a Nigerian language and tribe. If you’re going to have a character who’s from another country, at least mention the nationality/ethnic group. The ending was ambiguous as the situation blows up in their faces. I wanted to see the aftereffects, but I felt teased.

This short film did show promise with it’s unique setting. The film production was just fine with the camera work. The acting here was good and the situation was something I found to be surprisingly believable with Dickie being guilty and feeling conflicting thoughts. Some of the audio issues and plot execution were lacking to me though. Hate 2 Love was an above average watch, but I felt that it could’ve been so much more.


Adjustable Point System:

Add 1 point if you like forbidden romance stories.
Subtract 2-4 points if you really feel uncomfortable with White Supremacy being a major plot point.

Pros:
-Good cinematography
-Unique premise
-Competent acting

Cons:

-Abrupt ending
-Mahari’s unknown African ethnicity
-Audio flaws with the background music vs. talking



Final Score: 6/10 points

Content Warning: This is for teens and up. The opening scene involves a hate crime as Dickie beats up a black man and leaves him for dead as part of a gang initiation. He’s also an open White Supremacist with a giant Swastika tattoo on his head. There’s also some strong language in the beginning with the gang members.

-Curtis Monroe

All photos property of their respective owners and used under US “Fair Use” laws.

 

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