Love it or hate it, The Eurovision Song Contest is hugely popular across Europe and beyond. The yearly celebration of all things pop draws huge television audiences and captures the imaginations of millions. Organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), national winners are expected to be politically neutral. However, politics is never too far away, whether that’s in the songs, the press spots or in the voting itself.
The 2019 competition was scheduled to take place in Tel Aviv. Due to Israel hosting the event, there was a call from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for national broadcasters to shun the event, which was eventually ignored. It’s a consideration that the Icelandic entrant, the anti-capitalist group Hitari, wrestled with. Anna Hildur Hildibrandsdottir’s new documentary, A Song Called Hate, follows their journey.
A Song Called Hate focuses on the conundrum which faces Hitari. On the one hand they’re been selected to represent their country on a global stage. On the other, they’re a collective who have always followed their convictions, wherever it takes them. Watching the group wrestle with this quandary is fascinating. A Song Called Hate is a smartly crafted film which ponders how far an artist is expected to go when engaging in politics.
A Song Called Hate screens at CPH:DOX.