Thursday, April 20, 2017

Research Blog #8

Case: Burning Sands Film
Video Clip

This film, although fiction, depicts real life scenarios from fraternity pledging at an all black university. The director, Gerard McMurray, was himself in a fraternity and felt that this film had to be made and the severity of its violence would impact a lot of people. The film takes you through a week of pledging for the new members of one of the most known to underground haze fraternity at the university. The "rites of passage" are demonstrated so well in this film because there are brutal and emotional damaging things the boys have to do to prove themselves worthy. The brothers constantly make them buy copious amounts of food for them, be on call for any errand they wish, buy them alcohol, yell at them, call them degrading names, beat them, and tell them how unworthy they are to be here. This case will help to illustrate my frame of ritual as repetition and the reasoning behind why these boys allow this brutality to occur. The repetition of ritual and the fact that each senior member in the organization has already gone through it is what makes the brothers more enduring. There is a point in the film where one of the pledges explains that going through this means they will finally be men once initiation occurs and that all of the torture will be "worth it." The writing I've been using to link it to my frame and theory is The Historical Significance of Sacrificial Ritual: Understanding Violence in the Modern Black Fraternity Pledge Process where the author speaks a lot about the historical factor of African American ancestors attributing to why black haze is so brutal.

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