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[3] It was released on March 10, 2017, by Netflix. There’s no sense of the fraternity’s place in the larger culture, or even a scene revealing the sort of brotherhood and camaraderie Zurich can look forward to should he succeed. During one of Burning Sands’ many harrowing scenes of fraternity hazing, one of the protagonist’s would-be brothers stares him down and asks, “Why are you here?” Zurich (Trevor Jackson) responds with the canned frat propaganda he knows is expected of him, but when pressed further, he doesn’t have an answer. It’s not like Lambda Lambda Phi, the fictional fraternity in the film, appears to be a frat full of humble men based on how they show up in this space. Burning Sands only explores the tip of the iceberg for Black fraternities and only one aspect of what may happen with specific chapters within these organizations. In this "eye opening" film, five young men set out to pledge Lambda Lambda Phi fraternity at Frederick Douglas University. The movie provides insight to this point as well. N. othing seems to have any effect on Zurich’s ill-explored ambitions. His reviews for the Daily Dot focus on original movies and series produced by streaming entertainment services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. He was hazed and beaten to death. What’s the appeal? Syreeta N. Greene, Ed.D., MSW has been a higher education professional for over 15 years. Although most fraternities do not practice hazing methods so militaristic and dangerous, it’s still an issue of paramount importance. McMurray created the movie in response to a fatal hazing incident at Florida A&M. Many parts of “Burning Sands” remain unresolved, though not in a philosophically stimulating way. In some instances, it is these respected individuals who encourage them to be part of a “pledge” process. That makes for a serious wasted opportunity. McMurray created the movie in response to a fatal hazing incident at Florida A&M. However, in “Burning Sands,” it seems like the whole administration and staff at the university are completely aware of the barbarous pledging process, and almost encourage it. Then there was Toya, played by Nafessa Williams, who was Lambda Lambda Phi’s sex toy. But, when we think about the strategies used in abstinence movements, the Just Say No drug campaign in the 1980s, or alcohol prohibition of the 1920s, telling people to simply avoid undesirable behaviors is not effective. Is it an accurate portrayal of hazing in Black fraternities? Dean Richardson, a Lambda Phi alumnus,holds himself out as an example of the fraternity system and extolls its virtues. Zurich takes out his cell phone and calls his dad, realizing why his father never joined the fraternity, and the movie ends. I loved talking to my big brothers, because they gave me insight, and they offered things to me, ideas about the world and things I could possibly do — like even being a filmmaker. [4], Burning Sands received positive reviews from film critics. Unlike some of his fraternity brothers, Zurich questions the importance of Greek Life and whether or not the misery is worth it. Researchers from various fields ranging from public health to higher education agree that strategic educational preventive efforts are what reduce risky behaviors. But, perhaps it's time that directors completely ditch the whole Greek Life scene in favor of other college themes. Being truthful requires us to respond to issues and questions based upon all the involved dynamics. While Burning Sands may be a new movie, hazing in Black fraternities is not. But for anyone looking for a deeper exploration of what drives young men to cross those sands in the first place, Netflix’s latest original film feels like it still has a lot to learn. In the opening scene of Gerard McMurray’s “Burning Sands,” Netflix’s newest film, we find six young, Black college students driving into the forest at the crack of dawn to get beaten and verbally abused by an older brother of. Last Updated March 13, 2017 In the opening scene of Gerard McMurray’s “Burning Sands,” Netflix’s newest film, we find six young, Black college students … You know?”. Everybody's not like a crazy monster beating the hell out of people. Part of the problem is that, while Zurich himself is well realized, the script by Christine Berg and first-time director Gerard McMurray doesn’t service the supporting cast nearly as well. “Burning Sands” chronicles five pledges’ hell week filled with grueling abuse by their brothers. It’s an unflinching look at underground fraternity hazing—but. I didn't have the full concept all the way flushed out at that point, and I started developing it when I was producing Fruitvale Station. So, it is very possible that there were even more incidents never reported about hazing at the hands of members our grandparents age. Edited and managed by the students at the University of Michigan since 1890. Combined with individual’s pre-existing health conditions and/or prior stressful pledging behavior, however, the outcome can be disastrous and in some instances deadly. I wanted to tell a story that dealt with fraternity subculture at an HBCU. Hazing is one of those behaviors. But, without informed structure and guidelines, the intent may be misguided and involved activities that don’t support the intent. Dean Richardson, a Lambda Phi alumnus, holds himself out as an example of the fraternity system and extols its virtues. In the same way, Zurich was encouraged by the Dean of the Students, a man he respected and who provided a letter of recommendation on his behalf. Even with a cultural twist that sets it apart from many similar tales, Burning Sands never really makes use of the elements that could make it memorable or insightful. But for anyone looking for a deeper exploration of what drives young men to cross those sands in the first place, Netflix’s latest original film feels like it still has a lot to learn. An occasional nod is given to the post-college network of brothers who can help them out later in life. What we know from BGLO oral tradition is that Black World War II military men who were fraternity members incorporated military bootcamp activities into the pledge process. The six are “line brothers,” responsible for getting each other through the ritual hazing process. University administrations often treat fraternity hazing like a worn-out parent treats their high school child’s marijuana addiction: If you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist. For example, African-American scholar, Dr. John Hope Franklin, in his autobiography, Mirror to America, documented hazing in his fraternity in the 1930s. Nothing is wrong with being a part of an organization or group. Then there was Toya, played by Nafessa Williams, who was Lambda Lambda Phi’s sex toy. For Zurich, his motivation seems to stem from a need to impress his father, a ΛΛΦ pledge who “dropped,” and the prodding of the college dean, who nominated him to the chapter. After seconds of waiting the doctor tells them that Frank died of a ruptured aorta artery. While. In the newly-released Netflix film Burning Sands, however, director Gerard McCurray attempts to shed a light on the controversial side of Greek life through the story of Lambda Phi… The final scene of Burning Sands is the film in a microcosm: It’s an acting showcase for Jackson as Zurich, but ends on an unsatisfying note that leaves you with a checklist of things you wish it had addressed. I did struggle with it a little bit, but I thought about it a lot. We don’t need a document to wake us up. While it becomes important later, it packs little emotional punch placed as the first scene, when there is not yet any context; we don’t know whether this scene represents an escalation or the status quo, nor do we know how to empathize with characters while we remain in the dark to their motivations and backstories.

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