Editors' Choice

Hazing And Netflix’s New “Burning Sands” Trailer

Steve Porter / February 27, 2017

It’s no secret that there are mysterious things happening in the hallowed halls of some of the world’s most prestigious educational institutions. In recent years, schools have come under fire because of some practices that have been deemed as abusive and unnecessary. The thing we’re talking about is a huge part of pledging – which is when newcomers decide to sign up to be initiated into a fraternity or sorority.



While pledging recruits undergo trials in an effort to weed out the weak, some of these tests are psychological in nature while others are more physical and sadly, sometimes it’s even sexual. This stuff is commonplace – but the lesser known side is more severe and can look like scenes cut from the bootcamp section of Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket”. This is known as “hazing”. The practice is not limited to campuses either – it can happen in high school and even sports teams. Sometimes it’s good natured fun, but it can get pretty disturbing if left unchecked.



In the early 2000’s, many institutions came under fire as stories of pledges’ experiences were made public in an attempt to shed some light on the issue. Since 1970, there has been at least one hazing related death on a college campus every year. Currently in the US, 44 states have enacted anti-hazing laws in the hopes of protecting students, but in reality, all it’s really done is push it further underground. Some of the shocking rituals even include: paddling, pouring boiling water on pledges, sodomy, drug use, forced public masturbation, “The Elephant Walk” (Google at your own risk), ingesting excessive amounts of water, physical threats, binge drinking alcohol, and forced activities involving human waste/bodily fluids.



Back in 2016, director Andrew Neel released GOAT, an R-rated drama starring Nick Jonas and Ben Schnetzer. The film was about two brothers and their experiences with a fraternity. Jonas played the older brother while Schnetzer the younger. Jonas had already made it through and joined the fraternity while the younger brother is only just beginning. We won’t spoil the film for you, but what we will say is that it’s about challenging ideals and growing. It’s a film you definitely should check it out.



On the 23rd of February 2017, Netflix US & Canada released the trailer for their new original film Burning Sands. On the surface, we can safely say it seems to share a ton of similarities with GOAT and the main difference being that GOAT featured a predominantly caucasian cast where Burning Sands focuses on an African American fraternity. The synopsis as per its IMDB page is as follows: “Deep into Hell Week, a favored pledgee is torn between honoring his code of silence or standing up against the intensifying violence of underground hazing.” Described as raw and voyeuristic, this film is the directorial debut for Gerard McMurray and it’s the breakout performance of its star, Trevor Jackson. Burning Sands is set to premier on the 10th of March 2017.