EXCLUSIVE: Actress, producer, and activist, Debra Messing, has signed on to executive produce the feature documentary, Primal Fear about the explosion of antisemitism on college campuses, on social media, and in the streets since October 7, 2023, when Hamas attacked Israel. Wendy Sachs, the co-director and producer of SURGE, is directing the film and will also serve as an executive producer.
Interviews include: Debra Messing, Michael Rapaport, Noa Tishby, Scott Galloway, US Rep. Ritchie Torres, and US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
More from Deadline
The documentary begins on October 7th when Hamas killed more than 1,200 Israelis and kidnapped 240 people including babies, children, and the elderly. While the film opens with the horrors of the Nova Music Festival and the massacre that took place in 22 Israeli communities, the documentary is largely about the aftermath of a day that has become the modern Kristallnacht. Primal Fear unpacks antisemitism to explain how it has shape-shifted over the millennia.
The film will dig into the tsunami of antisemitism on American college campuses that has led to Congressional hearings and the resignation of university presidents from the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard. The film will also examine the world’s silence, dismissal, and even denial of the sexual violence Hamas perpetrated on Israeli girls and women. This silence led to Sheryl Sandberg calling for a hearing at the United Nations in December to address the atrocities and the hashtag #MeTOO Unless You’re a Jew took hold.
The film examines the alarming influence of social media, particularly TikTok in spreading misinformation and propaganda and fueling hate. We look at the latest poll numbers on Gen Z that find the majority of 18–24-year-olds sympathize with Hamas, a US-designated terrorist organization, funded by Iran. And finally, the film underscores what’s at stake. As history shows, an increase in antisemitism signals a decline in society’s strength. This isn’t just about the Jews. It’s about Western civilization, where truth, democracy, and a free society are all under attack.
“October 7th shook me to my core, and the reaction of the world from the silence to the hostility has been stunning. I’m honored to be working on this important project at such an urgent moment,” Debra Messing said.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Debra on this film. When much of Hollywood stayed silent, Debra doubled down, using her platform to speak out against the hypocrisy, double standards, and shocking levels of antisemitism that have blown up in the aftermath of October 7th,” Wendy Sachs said.
Best of Deadline