A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The filmmakers are trying to shine a bright light on an issue that many colleges would prefer to sweep under the carpet, bringing it to the public's attention so that it can be addressed.
Positive Role Models
The two women at the center of the story refuse to just be victims. Instead, they've become outspoken activists, determined to make sure that the world knows their assaults are far from isolated incidents. Their stories open the door to many other women to tell their own experiences -- and to be become part of a growing chorus demanding action.
Violence & Scariness
The entire film is about an epidemic of violent rape at colleges all across the country. We don't see any of the attacks, but many women share detailed, harrowing, and disturbing stories of violence. And what's even more disturbing is that there are so many women who've had very similar experiences. Some scenes include hateful images, including written threats and insults aimed at women who've spoken up about being assaulted.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Details of violent sexual encounters are described, but the content has everything to do with violence and nothing to do with passionate/romantic sex or love.
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Occasional swearing, including "s--t" and "bitch."
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Products & Purchases
Dozens of well-known universities are mentioned by name, but it's hardly in a promotional way, as all of the stories involving them are about how the administrations failed to help assault victims.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Several scenes show college students drinking at bars, parties, and athletic events, and some of them are clearly quite drunk when they share their opinions with the camera. Many women share stories about being drugged and then assaulted or how they were taken advantage of when they were drunk. As one person explains, "alcohol is a weapon."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Hunting Ground is a searing documentary that examines the epidemic of sexual violence on college campuses. Women (and a few men) detail their horrific experiences -- and their schools' incredibly, frustratingly tepid responses. The stories are detailed and graphic and often hard to hear. Any girl in college or nearing college age would do well to watch this, as should parents of both teen girls and boys. In addition to the pervasive topic of sexual violence, there's some brief profanity ("s--t" and "bitch") and many scenes showing college students getting drunk at parties, as well as references to victims being drugged. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This should be required viewing for any young woman embarking on a college career, any young man who wants to understand why women have a very different college experience, and all of their parents. This powerful documentary exposes the epidemic of rape at some of the nation's most revered educational institutions -- and what makes it even more potent is its focus on two women who took their harrowing experiences and turned them into a movement to help others in the same tragic position. Annie Clark and Andrea Pino deserve special praise, not only for being willing to share their experiences, but for their efforts in organizing fellow students to fight back -- and then taking that fight to campuses all over the country.
Director Kirby Dick covered similar territory in his Oscar-nominated film on rape culture in the U.S. military, The Invisible War, and here he's trying to shine a light on something else that has been hidden for far too long. He humanizes the statistics behind campus rape, making the victims' experiences into something that not only teaches but compels action.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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