We first heard about “The Hunting Ground” from friends who saw the film at Sundance. That some of them had daughters of college age made their impassioned, sometimes teary “you’ve got to see this movie” that much more understandable.
With stoic, sometimes unbelievable candor, a string of women and young men recount their often violent experiences at the hands of fellow students at some of the nation’s most prestigious college campuses – including some right here at home.
Their stories, buttressed by others we hear now on an almost regular basis from students attending colleges both large and small, will undoubtedly be heard on those very campuses in the coming months.
Guaranteed to make parents of college-bound kids cringe and, hopefully, the kids themselves conduct an inner dialogue about what can – and has – happened on a regular basis at campuses across the nation, this film packs a wallop.
Debuting with eerily prescient timing as the White House moves to establish guidelines for the investigation and handling of on-campus sexual assaults, “The Hunting Ground” is sure to provoke further dialogue, more sleepless nights for parents, and backlash from college campuses under federal scrutiny for possible Title IX violations – which prohibits gender discrimination at schools funded with government money.
Despite claims of fact-bending and overly zealous dramatic interpretations, writer-director Kirby Dick and producer Amy Ziering manage to get this monster of a 103-minute-long documentary on its feet and demanding attention, the stories of the parade of young people it features undeniable.
“The Hunting Ground” opens today in theaters across the country.