Weaving his own personal experience with hazing into larger narratives, director Byron Hurt posits the function, politics, and consequences of pledging rituals in the documentary Hazing. Hurt begins his focus on BGLOs (Black Greek Letter Organizations), but expands his scope as he navigates what necessitates these membership practices. Through a series of intimate interviews with victims' families, survivors, and his fellow fraternity brothers, Hurt and his subjects go past the provocative headlines into the dangerous and careless realities of hazing.
At times heartbreaking, Hurt is uniquely empathetic to those who fall victim to group-think, and extends this grace to the viewer. This project examines the intricacies of those who chose to engage in pledging culture, by engaging in a discussion of both the joys and perils of affiliations with exclusive groups. Taking a stark look at the psychological, societal, and historical components of hazing, Hurt sparks a captivating conversation around the anxieties and expectations of belonging—and what will be sacrificed to achieve it.--Shakira Refos