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The Hunting Ground

Coming Soon

The Hunting Ground is a documentary that sheds light on rape statistics among college campuses. These colleges bear some of the responsibilities in keeping these students safe. If by chance the unthinkable happens, surely the prestigious universities would come forward to eradicate the occurrences, right? Apparently that assumption isn’t very straightforward. Right now, somewhere in America, there is a young adult who has been sexually violated at a college university and no one has their back. This is a calamity that must end.

In the coming weeks the story that The Hunting Ground tells should send shock waves across the country. At least that is the hope of the people involved with the project. The focus of the documentary is on Andrea Pino and Annie Clark, University of North Carolina (UNC) students and both campus rape victims. As crazy as it may sound, audiences will learn that it’s more frequent than ever. Universities are basically huge businesses that will go to great lengths to preserve their good name. But Andrea and Annie come together to form a support group; the group is not UNC-exclusive, but as the film progresses we see the growth of movement on a national level.

The amount of brave souls who come forward in The Hunting Ground to tell their story is astounding. What is more astounding though is the defensive and often dismissive attitudes these colleges have towards rape allegations. The statement is not meant to be a blanket statement condemning every person at every university, however in a case of this magnitude, one can’t help but think a few bad apples spoil the bunch. In the litigious society we now live you might imagine that schools would err on the side of caution and use zero tolerance policies, but that simply isn’t the case. Again, throughout this documentary, frequent cover-ups are brought into question – that there’s no way they can all be false.

Where there’s smoke there’s fire.

Even with the serious undertone of the movie, there are moments that allow you as a viewer to feel good while watching. There’s balance, allowing audiences to rise from the darkness before diving back in again. Many of the stories told have the similar ups and downs. Going to college is a young person’s first real dip into the proverbial water of adult life. The thing about these waters is that they’re filled with opportunistic hunters seeking easy, uninformed targets. Of all of the alleged perpetrators of these sex crimes, one person stands above them all from a notoriety standpoint. This person is projected to go as high as the first overall draft pick in the 2015 NFL draft. Talk about the ultimate punch in the gut for the accused. It’s stories like this that make The Hunting Ground a much watch documentary.

The Hunting Ground is very difficult to sit through but is something that needs to be seen. This especially holds true for college students, soon-to-be scholars, parents of the previously mentioned and even faculty members. Sexual abuse is a widespread problem with awareness and vigilance being the best ways to combat it. Remember that just because you aren’t hearing about it doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Due to the very personal nature of this crime many victims would rather not talk about it. Unfortunately that behavior feeds right into the predators’ hands. Your job now is to become informed and make a difference.

The Hunting Ground is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Carl Wheeler

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