Sundance 2015: ‘The Hunting Ground’ Exposes an ‘Epidemic’ of Rape in American Colleges
But every few years, a movie will arrive here to force an issue into the public consciousness just as it rises to the top of the national agenda. Acclaimed documentarian Kirby Dick did that in 2012 with The Invisible War, his blazing expose about the prevalence of sexual assault in the American armed forces, which was nominated for an Oscar and is widely credited with influencing government policy on the issue.
This year, Dick and his longtime producing partner Amy Ziering seem poised to similarly reframe the national conversation with their powerful documentary The Hunting Ground, which examines the “epidemic” of rape on U.S. college campuses. The film premiered here Friday to an awed crowd that included California senator Barbara Boxer and New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
And the numbers put forward in The Hunting Ground paint a bleak portrait of personal safety during secondary education: 88 percent of women who are raped on campus do not report the assaults. And a mere 26 percent of reported rapes result in convictions.