Television

TV Critic’s Corner

‘Frontline’ brings white supremacists into focus

A scene from the clashes at the Unite the Right rally Aug. 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Va.
Edu Bayer
A scene from the clashes at the Unite the Right rally Aug. 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Va.

On Tuesday night, PBS’s “Frontline” series is airing a look back at last August’s deadly Charlottesville, Va., rally. Called “Documenting Hate: Charlottesville,” the documentary, a collaboration with ProPublica, examines the openness of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in the Trump era.

ProPublica reporter and Frontline correspondent A.C. Thompson tracks down two of the white supremacists involved in violent attacks on the counter-protesters, who were in Charlottesville because of the Unite the Right rally. One was an active duty Marine, and one worked for a defense contractor and had government security clearance (both have been let go because of Thompson’s work).

This one sounds like a winner, not just for its dogged reporting but also for its broader investigation of hate groups, the reason they weren’t controlled by the local police last summer, and why the authorities didn’t later pursue those involved in the most violent acts. By the way, another joint production between “Frontline” and ProPublica on neo-Nazis is due in the fall.

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Matthew Gilbert can be reached at gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.