Irmela Mensah Schramm is an active 67-year-old woman living in Berlin. Since 1985 she has been going out every morning looking for stickers or racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic graffiti to permanently scratch off and erase. All the tools she needs are in a white fabric bag with “Gegen Nazi” (i.e. against Nazi) written on it.
Swastikas, celtic crosses, invocations for new gas chambers dedicated to foreign people are, by now, her own panorama. Irmela has become a kind of hatred catalyst and, at the same time, a hate accumulator.
After defeating a breast cancer that would have left her no more than three years of life, her activity changed and transformed in a sort of mission.
Nowadays it’s her only reason for living, to the detriment of friends and loved ones. Alone, with her feeling of being improper, Irmela needs “to clean the world”. That world that in past denied her love, that very world in which she has never found her own space.
Through the authors first-person report, the film shows the vulnerabilities of a character that switch from moments of sensitivity to episodes of deep anger against everything that time hasn’t deleted.

Through the authors first-person report, the film shows the vulnerabilities of a character that switch from moments of sensitivity to episodes of deep anger against everything that time hasn’t deleted.
The first time we met Irmela, we were fascinated by her energy and her commitment.
Her never-ending struggle agains street racism is brave and powerful. No matter how questionable her behaviour might be, her stubbornness and her undeniable strength send a precise and unmistakable message: we cannot be indifferent to what is going on around us.
Her exasperated enemies are now desperately trying to make her stop. However, writing “Grandma tick, we’ll catch you” is of little use, so as sending her threatening letters or plastering walls in Berlin suburbs with stickers with her face and “We’re happy if Irmela dies!” as a caption.
Irmela does not want to show her weakness, especially because she firmly believes that hers is the only way to face the problem and she is the only person who can do it. Yet something is slipping from her hands.
After a few months with her, we felt that there was something hidden behind her cherish smile.
Something sad and painful.
With her activity, she found the way to stand out and prove to be a person worthy of consideration and affection. But now she seems to fear the time when all this might be over, to the extent of being disappointed when she cannot find graffiti or stickers to remove.
We started to focus on her life and her past, trying to crack the shell of this everyday superhero.
We wanted to know who was the human being behind the Hate Destroyer.
This film tells the story of this intimate discovery.
Through her eyes, her personal archives and her memories, we can draw the picture of a city that deals with deep roots of hatred, hidden behind the frontdoor of clean neighborhoods.
And we also make the portrait of a woman who has been hated, attacked and betrayed, and who decided to stand up against the world.

Director
Vincenzo Caruso
Story
Vincenzo Caruso
Screenplay
Vincenzo Caruso
Director of photography
Film Editor
Original Music
Andrea Gattico
Sound
Giorgio Gristina
Altri credits
Tomislav Stojanovic (Color grading). Klaus pas, Luc Walpoth per Turbulence Films (Produttori associati)
Production Director
Aleksandra Koslowska
Executive production
Elise Pietarila
Producer
Diego Volpi, Alessandro Carroli
Co-producer
Sineast Filmproduction GbR – Berlin (DE)
Production
Fotogramma 25 (Torino), EiE film (Torino)
con il sostegno di Film Commission Torino Piemonte e della Regione Piemonte (Piemonte Doc Film Fund - Fondo regionale per il documentario - sviluppo dicembre 2010)
Contacts
Fotogramma 25 (Diego Volpi)