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by Robert Rippberger & Tobias Deml
Cinema of Change

Daniel Ragussis on Ideology and Radicalization


Columbia Graduate Daniel Ragussis directed Imperium (2016), staring Daniel Radcliffe, which centers around an FBI agent who infiltrates a white supremacist group to uncover a domestic terror plot. Though initially Radcliffe's character, Nate Foster, suspects the obvious skinheads, the film offers views of other white supremacists groups and tries to give the viewer a better understanding of them. By drawing from Michael German's real life FBI cases, the portrayals of the plain neighbor next door having unsuspecting views are true to life.

On this episode of the podcast Ragussis talks about what drove him to create the film. From initial research for his short film Haber (2008), Ragussis saw that there was an unacknowledged group of White Nationalists posing a domestic threat. He talks about how he humanized the characters in the film by understanding their ideology and displaying qualities beyond just their views.

This week we're also joined by special guest (TM), a former member of the white supremacist movement from Germany who advises on how best to reform and save those on the path to radicalization. TM discusses his own experiences and how they relate to what's portrait in the film.



by Robert Rippberger & Tobias Deml