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White Supremacists Focus Of Flathead Documentary

"A Town on Fire" screening and panel discussion Friday, June 3, in Helena.
Courtesy MHRN

Hate groups. Anti-government radicals. White supremacists. These are taglines for a new documentary film featuring the cultural climate of the Flathead Valley.

"Hate in America: A Town on Fire," contrasts the idyllic setting of the Flathead Valley with a growing number of white supremacists and anti-government radicals who’ve flocked there in recent years. It also features pushback from local groups like Love Lives Here, an affiliate of the Montana Human Rights Network.

"We are talking about a small but vocal minority when it comes to the far right, but their impact is big."

That’s Rachel Carroll Rivas, co-director of the Montana Human Rights Network. The Network will screen the film Friday night in Helena, and follow-up with a panel discussion with representatives from Love Lives Here and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

"I think it's a really well done piece accurately talking about the different factions of the far-right in our state and particularly the Flathead, but also talking about the positive work that's happening," says Rivas.

"A Town on Fire" is part of a broader series by Investigation Discovery and the Southern Poverty Law. It focuses on the Kalispell Pioneer Little Europe movement, a group that envisions the Flathead Valley as an all-white homeland.

Nicky is MTPR's Flathead-area reporter.
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