Netflix Original ‘Burning Sands’ Takes Raw Look at Black Greek Hazing

Netflix has revealed the first trailer for their upcoming original film Burning Sands, and it’s not pretty – the content, that is. Burning Sands goes inside the world of black Greek fraternities and gives a raw look at the brutal hazing new members have to endure.

The story (starring Trevor Jackson in his breakout role as a new pledge) follows a new pledge as he undergoes the initiation process to a fraternity at a fictional black college. As the hazing gets worse, he’s torn between speaking out to university administration and being labeled as soft or following the frat’s code of silence. It’s a highly emotional, voyeuristic take on the classic “right of passage” tale.

The trailer starts depicting fairly innocent hazing, as a group of recruits is sent to pick up a fast food breakfast order for the fraternity, only to be greeted with a slamming door because they forgot napkins. The pledges hear of the importance of “brotherhood,” and how they’re following generations of honor that came before them. But as “Hell Night” draws closer, the hazing turns physically violent and even outright abusive.

Hazing in college fraternities (specifically black colleges) has been a source of debate for many years now. How far is too far? Of course, some hazing is fine, and a “part of the process” many people would say, that serves to strengthen a young person’s resolve. But when does it become abuse at the hands of a power hungry frat leader? And when does someone say something?

With a March 10 release date, the film is already getting lots of attention on Twitter. Burning Sands is one of the films Netflix recently acquired at the Sundance Film Festival, so you know it’s going to be a quality watch (it already has a pretty high 83% positive score on Rotten Tomatoes).