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Love Hate Love is the story of three families who have taken their experiences with terrorism and found a way to not only move forward, but to make the world a better place. After Steve and Liz Alderman lost their 25-year-old son Peter in the World Trade Center, they took the money they were awarded as compensation and started a series of mental health clinics in Uganda, for those who have been victims of war crimes, child soldier enlistment, and more. After Esther Hyman lost her sister Miriam in the mass transit attacks in London on 7/7/05, she founded an eye care clinic in India in her sister’s name. And Australian Ben Tullipan lost his legs and suffered from massive burns in a bombing in Bali in 2002, after which he made a remarkable recovery. Now Ben works with others who have lost limbs, helping them to realize that they can do more than survive—they can live their lives in much the same way as before.
On the eve of the film's premiere, co-director Don Hardy talked with two of his subjects: Steve and Liz Alderman.
Filmmaker Don Hardy
Don Hardy – Hi guys, can I talk with you about the upcoming premiere of Love Hate Love?
Liz Alderman – Absolutely, but Steve and I have been married 47 years and we’ve yet to agree on anything so we need to answer everything separately.
1. How did you come to be involved in the film Love Hate Love?
Liz: A lovely lady named Dana Nachman called me out of the blue and told me she wanted to do a film talking about the positive effects that came out of September 11, 2001.
Steve: I agree.
2. Why did you want to share your story in the film?
Steve: We are advocates for our patients, people traumatized by war and unable to lead their lives. The first step in advocacy is to raise awareness. I hope this film will do this.
Liz: I agree.
3. Tell us about Peter and the foundation you created in his honor?
Liz: While I never cared about leaving a mark for myself, I desperately wanted to leave a mark that Peter existed on this earth and that because he had lived; the world would be a better place.
Steve: Peter died from an act of terrorism. There are one billion people who have directly experienced torture, terrorism or mass violence. Many of the survivors are unable to function in their societies because of traumatic depression and PTSD. Peter loved life. Returning war affected victims to life is a perfect way to honor his memory.
Liz: I can’t disagree with that.
4. With the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks only a few months away, do you have mixed emotions about returning to NYC to watch the film?
Liz: The film is a celebration of Peter’s life, the Foundation and the indomitability of the human spirit. My feelings are not mixed at all.
Steve: Mine neither.
5. Will a lot of your friends and family be at the screening?
Liz: Yes, they are fighting for tickets as we speak.
Steve: What she said.
6. What do you hope audiences will take away from the film?
Liz: I hope they will become aware of the desperate need to deal with the emotional needs of survivors of despicable acts. Billions of dollars are spent on curing diseases, eradicating hunger and poverty, providing potable water, microfinance, etc. and yet when people don’t care whether they live or die, none of this can happen.
Steve: The incidence of traumatic depression and PTSD in Africa exceeds that of HIV/AIDS and malaria combined, yet most global health care organizations ignore it – partly from ignorance and partly from prejudice. This film is a step toward correcting that iniquitous inequity.
7. How amazing was it to work with the visionary directors Dana Nachman and Don Hardy?
Liz and Steve: No kidding around, we agree, they are amazingly talented and compassionate. They have produced a film which is a potent social commentary. They are the best.
8. What has surprised you the most about the filmmaking process?
Liz: It was just so much fun for us – though I don’t know if it was as much fun for Dana and Don.
Steve: I’m torn between yup and me too.
9. Would you do it again?
Liz and Steve: Of course (see answer #7).
10. What's next for the Peter C. Alderman Foundation?
Liz: I would love to see Peter C. Alderman Mental Health Clinics in each of the 50 conflict/post-conflict countries around the globe.
Steve: I agree, but I intend to lie down until the feeling passes. I’ll let you know how I feel when I get up.
Following the screening will be a Tribeca Talks: After the Movie conversation with executive producer Sean Penn, directors Dana Nachman and Don Hardy, and family members featured in the film: Liz Alderman, Steve Alderman, Esther Hyman, and Ben Tullipan. The panel will discuss the importance of making movies that lead to social action.
Read an interview with Don Hardy and Dana Nachman.
Browse all this year's Festival films in the 2011 Film Guide.
Meet more Faces of the Festival.
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