Netflix’s New Polish Thriller, “The Hater”, Presents Real-Life Consequences To Online Hate Comments

by Allison Lindsey
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The Hater comes to Netflix on July 29th and it’s bound to start a conversation. This Polish drama touches on subjects that are constantly plaguing society in every nation- polarizing politics and toxic Internet hatred. The darker themes of this movie are fairly typical for the director and can be seen in many of his award-winning films.

Like we ask from all media, this film certainly entertains- it’s a bit of a never-ending rollercoaster of disaster for Tomasz. However, it also goes a step further and provides thought-provoking commentary on the danger of believing everything you see on the Internet.

The Hater Summary

© Fot Jaroslaw Sosinski / NAIMA FILM, OPERATOR Radek ?adczuk, PRODUCENT NAIMA FILM, REZYSER Jan Komasa,Maciej Musia?owski ,

The Hater follows the story of Tomasz Giemza, a young man in Warsaw, Poland, in search of a way to pay his rent. The recently expelled law student, who violated the school’s plagiarism policy, has a knack for social media and spying on people. When he stumbles across a job opportunity that fits perfectly with his skill set, things begin to spiral. He utilizes his understanding of the Internet to help clients take down competitors. Whether business rivals or political opponents, he poisons them with the toxicity of Internet hatred.

This flawed protagonist, if you can even call him that, feels the effects of his dishonorable job. The wear of his occupation is seen physically throughout the film. Tomasz’ skin sinks deeper into his face and his purple-y eye bags grow. The lengths he is willing to go to succeed in his career escalates over the course of The Hater.

Additionally, as an audience member feels in any film revolving around an anti-hero, you don’t quite know how to feel. It’s clear that Tomasz has been through a lot in his life and he’s the one leading you through this story. Doesn’t that mean we should like him or at least have some idea how we feel about him? The ambiguity of his emotions is part of what gives this thriller its feel of unease.

Genre/Critical Reviews

© Fot Jaroslaw Sosinski / NAIMA FILM, OPERATOR Radek ?adczuk, PRODUCENT NAIMA FILM, REZYSER Jan Komasa

The Hater fits into many different categories. Primarily, it falls under the category of described as a dramatic thriller, though intentionally slow-building at times. It’s also an arthouse and international film. Netflix provides subtitles in a variety of languages as well as dubbing in others. The film is 2 hours and 17 minutes total and rated NR.

The Tribeca Film Festival summarized the film stunningly: “The Hater is a thrilling commentary on how misinformation thrives in increasingly polarized societies”. This film competed in the International Narrative Competition of the renowned film festival.

Ola Salwa, a critic at Cineuropa, stated, “The Hater is a thrilling tale of an anti-hero and of the survival of the fittest, which in this case means those who have a strong and agile thumb and index finger”.

The Hater’s Award-Winning Director

© Fot Jaroslaw Sosinski / NAIMA FILM, OPERATOR Radek ?adczuk, PRODUCENT NAIMA FILM, REZYSER Jan Komasa

Jan Komasa is an incredibly gifted director and storyteller from Poland. Still in his 30’s, he has already one a myriad of awards for his films. His work includes tv series, short and feature-length films since his first director credits in the early 2000s. To show his incredible range as a director, he has also worked on music videos and commercials throughout his career. His most recent film, The Hater, won the title of Best International Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival.

The Hater comes to Netflix on Wednesday, July 29th! If you love foreign arthouse award-winning films, you need to give this film a shot. Beware, it might leave you a bit shaken up about the terrifying reality of the aspects of our society that we’ve grown so accustomed to.


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