“HATING PETER TATCHELL”— The Ferocity of Hatred


The Ferocity of Hatred

Amos Lassen

 Peter Tatchell hasbeen violently assaulted over 300 times, had 50 attacks on his flat, has been the victim of half a dozen murder plots and received tens of thousands of hate messages and death threats over the last fifty years, mostly from homophobes and far-right extremists. Christopher Amos envisaged a film that documented how Tatchell’s campaigns generated such extreme hatred.

Tatchell wanted the film to show that social change is possible and how to do it, to inspire the next generation by highlighting freedom struggles through the lens of his own direct action. The end result is impressive, with fast-paced revelations about his school-age radicalism, abusive stepfather and activism against the Vietnam war, anti-gay policing and church bigotry. There’s footage of Tatchell’s defeat as Labor candidate in the notorious 1983 Bermondsey by election described by many as the UK’s dirtiest, most violent and homophobic campaign.

The film also captures Tatchell’s efforts in 1988 to persuade world health chiefs to stop the persecution of people with HIV/Aids; his attempted arrest of  Robert Mugabe on charges of torture, which left him beaten unconscious; and the outing of bishops   who colluded with an anti-LGBTQ+ church despite their own homosexuality.

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