Debra Messing has become one of the most prominent pro-Israel voices among celebrities after October 7. The actress visited the country, drew attention to the plight of the families of hostages and has talked about the sexual violence that took place on that day. Even before that, Messing, who played a mother of a bar mitzvah boy in “13: The Musical,” opened up about her experience with antisemitism as a child.
Now, she’s bringing both her care for Israelis and for her fellow Jews in America into a documentary about the Jewish reality of the post-October 7 world, on both college campuses and the streets of the U.S. and on the grounds of the attack in Israel. The documentary will be examining the way the spread of misinformation and division on social media has shaped both countries. It will also take on the issue of sexual violence on October 7 and the world’s dismissal and silence around these crimes, and feature Sheryl Sandberg’s address to the U.N. about it (Sandberg is also working on a documentary focused solely on the sexual violence around October 7 titled “Silence After Screams.”)
The documentary, titled “Primal Fear,” will be directed by Wendy Sachs, who co-directed and produced “SURGE” about the 2018 surge in female candidates running in politics during the 2018 midterm. Messing will helm it as executive producer along with Wachs.
Aside from Messing, the documentary will feature Michael Rapaport, Noa Tishby, Scott Galloway, Representative Ritchie Torres and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. It will also feature the Congressional hearings around antisemitism on college campuses and their backlash, and the way some polling shows that the younger generation may have sympathies for Hamas.
According to Deadline, “the film underscores what’s at stake. As history shows, an increase in antisemitism signals a decline in society’s strength. This isn’t just about the Jews. It’s about Western civilization, where truth, democracy, and a free society are all under attack.”
“October 7th shook me to my core, and the reaction of the world from the silence to the hostility has been stunning. I’m honored to be working on this important project at such an urgent moment,” Debra Messing said in a statement about the documentary.
“It’s my hope that this film will help educate, activate, and heal everyone touched by this inflection point. That hearts can be opened, and all of our humanity can be celebrated,” she wrote on social media.