Anyone touting 'reality is stranger than fiction' clearly hasn’t seen The Hater, the Netflix film that was delayed after mirroring a horrible life-life tragedy. And this isn’t in the way Black Mirror appeared to predict "pig-gate" with David Cameron or how The Simpsons foresaw President Trump. The Hater runs some terrifyingly close parallels with a real-life political assassination.
The Polish thriller, now available to watch on Netflix, follows an expelled law student, Tomasz Giemza, who becomes a troll-for-hire – it's through this he begins to grow online hate groups who turn violent against politicians. And, as you’ve probably figured, soon after the film finished shooting, a similar story played out in real-life.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Why was Netflix film The Hater delayed?
In short, the events of the film echo the death of Pawel Adamowicz, the mayor of Polish city Gdańsk. On 13th January 2019, he was assassinated after being targeted by online hate groups.
While on stage at a charity event, Adamowicz was stabbed by Stefan Wilmont, a former inmate, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. After five hours of critical surgery, Adamowicz died from his wounds.
Remarkably, The Hater, which finished filming three weeks before the murder, climaxes with the death of a comparable liberal political, also named Pawel, in a similar fashion.
Rather than focusing on Pawel, however, The Hater predominantly follows disgraced student Tomasz Giemza (Maciej Musialowski). After being thrown out of University for plagiarism, Tomasz joins Buzz PR, a cutthroat agency who are assigned to ruin the reputation of mayoral candidate Paweł Rudnicki (Maciej Stuhr).
Throughout the film, Tomasz uses increasingly more aggressive tactics on Pawel, looking to befriend far-right extremists to fulfil his goal.
Although real-life mayor Pawel Adamowicz was target by online far-right hate groups, it’s not clear that the murder was masterminded by one individual such as Tomasz.