The Hunting Ground

Synopsis: From the makers of The Invisible War (2012) comes a startling exposé of rape crimes on U.S. college campuses, their institutional cover-ups and the devastating toll they take on students and their families. Weaving together verité footage and first-person testimonies, the film follows the lives of several undergraduate assault survivors as they attempt to pursue - despite incredible push back, harassment, and traumatic aftermath - both their education and justice.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Kirby Dick
Production: Radius
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 22 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
103 min

Like, I already know. Like...

I got in. I got in, I got in!

Oh, my God! I got in!


- What? Denied?

- I got in!

Yes! Yes!

Boo-yah! Boo-yah!

Boo-yah! Yes!

"Application status

decision made. "

I'm sorry, Janelle.


- Oh, my God!

- Yes, yes, yes!


New students,

as I look out on you today,

I recognize that you must be

feeling incredible excitement,

anticipation, and perhaps

a little relief as well.

This is the day.

As your parents learned when

they dropped you off today,

what happens in college

stays in college.

Most of the time.

Few things are more worthy

of celebration

than the entry of a new class

of students into the university.

You have strengths

and skills and smarts

that you don't yet even realize.

Our Kansas State University

new undergraduate students today

are indeed the next generation

of leaders

on whom we will all rely.

Let us, the faculty, know what

we can do to help you reach that goal.

We will be there to advise you,

to support you, to guide you,

to point you to vast resources

and opportunities on your way.

To our new treasured students,

this is your moment.

Ah. You see? Ah...

Does it get any higher?


Growing up in inner-city Miami,

people like me don't really go anywhere.

My dad came over from Cuba,

and then my mom is second

generation Cuban-American.

I really wanted to get out of Miami

and do something different.

I'm the first person of my family

to ever leave the state and go to college.

I was actually valedictorian

in high school.

One of my favorite trips was coming

to D.C. when I was eight,

and I cried when I saw

the Declaration of Independence.

I've always been really fascinated

with the law and politics

and just, like, our country's history.

And I knew I wanted to go

to a school that had that history.

And UNC was the first public school,

and they had so much

in its history, you know,

of activism and social justice,

and I just knew I belonged.

I grew up in Raleigh,

North Carolina, kind of in suburbia.

High school I actually

had a great time in.

I was athletic.

I played a lot of sports.

I was the first female

in my class to letter.

I lettered in cross country.

And then I played soccer.

I was basically a straight-A student,

graduated third in my class.

For college, I thought

I would go somewhere in state,

and UNC was the best school.

I really had a good time there.

I learned a lot.

I loved my professors.

The first few weeks,

I made some of my best friends,

and we're still really,

really close to this day.

But two of us were sexually assaulted

before classes had even started.

It was at night.

We were dancing.

I was out with some friends.

People were drinking,

but nobody was ridiculously drunk.

And I got pulled outside

and banged my head against a wall

and was raped.

I physically fought

and got away and ran,

and then went to the bathroom

and, like, I still remember

just putting my hands on the sink

and just looking at myself in the mirror,

shaking, like,

"What just happened?"

My sophomore year,

right after spring break,

a really good friend of mine said,

"Hey, you wanna go to this party?"

And it was pretty late in the night.

I started dancing with this guy.

He was really attractive

and a really, really great dancer

and just a really good person.

At least, I thought he was.

It all happened really quickly.

I was actually a virgin,

so that adds a bit to it,

but he just started kind of, like,

pulling me towards the bathroom.

He grabbed my head

by the side of my ear

and slammed it

against the bathroom tile.

And it didn't stop.

I couldn't move.

I could hear the laughter

outside the door.

I could hear people dancing.

And it made me wonder,

why does nobody see me?

Why has nobody come

to the bathroom?

Why am I not screaming?

When you're scared, when you don't know

what's happening to you,

you just stay there,

and you hope that you don't die.

And that's what I was hoping, that

I had more than just 20 years to live.

We've known

for probably 25 years now

that the problem of sexual assault

on college campuses is enormous.

On college campuses, it is not

the person jumping out of the bushes

or in the parking lot, who is going

to rape or sexually assault you.

It is the person whom you know,

the person you may have classes with,

the person you see at a party.

You think about... It's, you know,

it's the people we don't know

that we should be worried about, but

it's really the people that you do know

that you should be worried about.

But I think a lot of parents think,

"Well, we'll drop our daughter off,

she'll have

a great college experience,

and everything will be fine

because the college has a reputation

for being a safe place. "

Um... it's not.

I learned later on that I wasn't

the only one who was raped that weekend.

But at the time,

we didn't talk about it

because it was something

that nobody talked about.

Rape's a scary word.

You don't wanna fall into a category.

You don't wanna

be called the victim.

I did not want to admit

that it happened to me.

I didn't tell anybody

for a really long time.

I went to classes, um...

did everything kind of normally,

and it was just...

something in the back of my mind,

and it really started to affect me.

And I was like,

"I need to do something about this. "

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Kirby Dick

Kirby Bryan Dick (born August 23, 1952) is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and editor. He is best known for directing documentary films. He received Academy Award nominations for Best Documentary Feature for directing Twist of Faith (2005) and The Invisible War (2012). He has also received numerous awards from film festivals, including the Sundance Film Festival and Los Angeles Film Festival. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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