CLEVELAND, Miss. — The Bologna Performing Arts Center will host a free screening of “Hazing,” a documentary film that shines a light on the secret, underground rituals of hazing in modern fraternities. This free film will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, April 10, and does not require tickets. After the screening, film protagonist Brent McClanahan II will participate in a Q&A with audience members. “Hazing” will conclude the spring semester showings of the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers.
“The Southern Circuit film series is a unique opportunity to connect our community with important topics through the art of film,” said Laura Howell, executive director of the Bologna Performing Arts Center. “We are honored to be the only Mississippi screening partner on the tour.”
Film director Byron Hurt is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, writer, and anti-sexist activist. His documentary, “Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes,” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and broadcast nationally on PBS’ Emmy-award winning series “Independent Lens.” Byron’s last film, Soul Food Junkies, also aired nationally on Independent Lens. “I have long wanted to make a documentary about this subject but never felt courageous enough to address it,” said Hurt. “This is a sensitive and controversial topic. However, after I learned about the tragic death of Robert Champion—the Florida A&M University band member who, in November 2012, was tragically killed by his fellow band members because of a traditional hazing ritual—I felt compelled to illuminate this issue in a documentary film.”
Byron, as a member of a fraternity himself, said that he hopes to approach the subject with sensitivity and care. “As a filmmaker who is a fraternity member – I am a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated – and someone who has been hazed and has hazed young men, I feel uniquely qualified to make this film,” said Byron.
The event is free and open to the public but is especially recommended for student groups at Delta State University and other nearby college campuses to highlight the controversies surrounding hazing. The film places hazing culture under the microscope to discover a world of toxic masculinity, violence, sexual degradation, binge drinking, denial, and institutional coverups.
“Hazing” will be screened in the BPAC Recital Hall. For more information on the documentary series and other programs, visit www.bolognapac.com or contact the BPAC Ticket Office at 662-846-4626. Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part by a grant from South Arts, a regional arts organization, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information about Southern Circuit and South Arts please visit www.southarts.org/southerncircuit.