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Arts & Culture

Facing Fear

Matthew Boger and Timothy Zaal.
Courtesy of Jason Cohen Productions
Matthew Boger and Timothy Zaal.

Airs Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 11:30 p.m. on KPBS TV

As a 13 year-old, Matthew Boger was thrown out of his home for being gay.

While living on the streets of Hollywood, he was savagely beaten in a back alley by a group of neo-Nazi skinheads.

Boger managed to survive the attack and escape life on the streets. Twenty-five years later, Boger found himself in a chance meeting with a former neo-Nazi skinhead, Tim Zaal.

The two men soon realized that they had met before...Zaal was one of the attackers who beat Boger and left him for dead.

Matthew Boger recounts how, while living on the streets of Hollywood, he was savagely beaten in a back alley by a group of neo-Nazi skinheads.
Courtesy of Jason Cohen Productions
Matthew Boger recounts how, while living on the streets of Hollywood, he was savagely beaten in a back alley by a group of neo-Nazi skinheads.

With their worlds turned upside down, the two embarked on a journey of forgiveness and reconciliation that challenged both to grapple with their own beliefs and fears.

Neither could imagine that it would to lead to an improbable collaboration...and friendship.

Timothy Zaal and Matthew Boger speaking publicly about their experiences in a program called From the Depths of Hate at the Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles, Calif.
Courtesy of Jason Cohen Productions
Timothy Zaal and Matthew Boger speaking publicly about their experiences in a program called From the Depths of Hate at the Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles, Calif.

"Facing Fear" retraces the haunting accounts of the attack and the startling revelation that brought these men together again.

Delving deep into their backgrounds, the roots of the ideologies that shape how they handle the reconciliation process are exposed. Self-doubt, anger and fear are just a few of the emotions they struggle through as they come to terms with their unimaginable situation.

Timothy Zaal and Matthew Boger giving a presentation to students in Los Angeles, Calif.
Courtesy of Jason Cohen Productions
Timothy Zaal and Matthew Boger giving a presentation to students in Los Angeles, Calif.

Shot on location in Los Angeles, the film is the theatrical directorial debut for Jason Cohen. Edited by the award-winning Tom Christopher with cinematography by Svetlana Cvetko (Academy Award-winning "Inside Job"), the film takes an introspective trip through the world of early 80s Hollywood while delicately addressing past events that shaped the men involved, from early childhood to their present relationship.

"Facing Fear" Trailer

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