In 2012 filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering took on military sexual violence (see my post on The Invisible War). Now in The Hunting Ground they confront a related topic, rape on college campuses. So far it’s in theaters in New York and L.A.; it will open wider later this month and eventually air on CNN.
An intro from Ben Kenigsberg, Variety: “Citing studies from 2000 to the present that suggest that 16% to 20% of women are sexually assaulted, the film makes the case that colleges are breeding grounds — not an association they like. Harvard Law lecturer Diane L. Rosenfeld draws an analogy: If you were to advertise that a prospective student had an equivalent chance of being the victim of a drive-by shooting, their desire to pay tuition would diminish.”
Brian Tallerico, rogerebert.com: “As a director, Dick knows how to build a case, intercutting interviews with statistics that portray an epidemic, a crisis, a serious problem for all Americans of all ages. Most importantly, they empower the victims, giving them a platform from which to speak that the institutions that they supported through attendance and tuition did not.”
Watch the trailer:
In her review Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press, highlights the personal stories of the affected families, the assault victims, both female and male. “Audiences see Annie Clark and Andrea Pino, both of whom were assaulted at the University of North Carolina, and subsequently ignored and belittled by their administrators, rally support around the country for their End Rape on Campus movement and filing a Title IX complaint against UNC.”
About those telling their stories, Manohla Dargis, New York Times: “Ms. Pino and Ms. Clark are courageous, inspiring figures, and they, along with the other women and men who talk openly about their school histories and ordeals, are the reasons to see ‘The Hunting Ground.'”
A quote from Amy Ziering, the film’s producer (The Huffington Post):
Let’s stop the victim-blaming. Let’s stop the stigmatization of this issue. That would be huge. For me, my personal hope, what I would see as a good fix, is pushing for independent investigators on these campuses. That way it’s a cleaner system. Whatever the outcomes are, at least people feel they’re getting a fair shake. I know that helps people go through this trauma much more quickly. It’s not as compounding of the trauma, at least, if you feel like you have access to some kind of fair system. If that’s not in place, it’s not a good thing.