In an animated short film titled Sommer of Hate, commissioned by Channel 4’s Random Acts initiative, Margot Bowman takes us back to Summer 2016 (I know, frightening – stay with us) and follows a woman named Sommer and her dog Ego as they leave their homeland in the midst of a Brexit-like crisis. Feeling increasingly alienated, Sommer and Ego go to stay with a man who lives in a place that screams freedom, diversity, and open-mindedness (think post-Berlin Wall Berlin) that Sommer met on the internet. However, all doesn’t go as planned, and Bowman crosses 90s alt feminist hero Daria with sci-fifor a full dystopian fallout.
Bowman says, “Sommer of Hate is inspired by my own experiences over the last six months where Brexit, Trump etc. have shifted the status quo to a place where xenophobia, isolationism and a lack of empathy are often accepted as the new normal.”
Over three-and-a-half minutes Sommer is forced to examine friendship, community, and sex, through an unfamiliar lens – where the world changed unequivocally in a painfully short space of time.
Bowman also explains that “under an exhausting tempo of blameless chaos, faceless extremism and homegrown enemies” – all mediated by social media – has left Sommer and her generation’s “attitude to sex, relationships, and commitment in an odd place”.
The director adds, “I want to use narrative to explore how this updated reality – which has been building over the last five years, with our increasing use of narcissistically driven social media platforms – impacts on the personal lives of those who live through it.”