‘It Wasn’t a Documentary About Bama Rush Whatsoever!’
Last year, as rumors swirled of an undercover documentary at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, many students participating in bullying recruitment were on high alert.
The film crew was the talk of the campus. More dramatically, there were unsubstantiated whispers that some potential new sorority members — known as PNMs, in Greek parlance — were wearing hidden microphones to capture what went on behind closed doors.
It turned out that there were only rumours. Partially true. There was actually a documentary being made during the recruitment period, known as the Rush, but none of the men who went through it wore any secret devices to record the secret rituals.
Rush became one at the University of Alabama. International feeling In 2021, when TikTok videos gave people around the world an inside look at the annual event and its silent traditions.
“Bama Rush” was released on Tuesday. at most. Directed by Rachel Flatt, it follows four University of Alabama students in the summer of 2022 as they prepare to make a bid for the day, when they find out if they’ve been invited to join a parade. has gone (Warning: spoilers ahead.)
Working with her team, Ms Flatt, who directed the 2021 documentary,Introducing, Selma Blair,” found his essays by searching social media for incoming students who planned to rush.
She said she wrote to them and said: “Listen, I want to do a 360-degree look at the fraternity system at the University of Alabama. I really want to focus around the experiences of being a young woman at this time.” What’s the point. We’ll deal with all the major issues you’re up against.”
“It covers many of the themes that come up in the film,” she said, “body image, sexual assault, feminism, comparison and competition between young women.”
Ms. Fleet added that no one was paid to participate in the documentary, and the film crew did not record inside the sorority houses. He also tried to make sure his presence didn’t alter the normal rush process, he said, as he “tried to create a very quiet, very honest, very intimate image.”
Rumors of hidden microphones were “false”, Ms Flatt said. She added that she “felt” for the students who were trapped.
Marina Anderson, 19, was one of the young women whose lives were affected by campus rumors. He said he was fired for rushing after being falsely accused of wearing a microphone in August. What raised suspicion, Ms Anderson said, was a black hair tie she had tucked into the back of her shirt to enhance it.
Despite her repeated denials, some of her colleagues refused to believe she was not participating in the documentary, calling her the “HBO girl” for months. (These allegations occurred when Max was still known as HBO Max. The platform rebranded on Tuesday.)
“It was very uncomfortable,” Ms. Anderson said. “I had people record me in public. It really messed me up my freshman year. She added that she came to enjoy her time in college and plans to return in the fall as a sophomore. She was excited.
Ms. Anderson, who was not interviewed for “Bama Rush,” watched the documentary shortly after it appeared on Max on Tuesday. It was “bittersweet” to watch it, she said. In general, she found the film “anticlimactic”, saying that ultimately it was “not about the Alabama Rush,” but rather the personal struggles of the women featured in it.
Ms. Anderson added that she sometimes wondered what she had missed because of the microphone’s indifference. “I think the bottom line is just that rumors are really dangerous,” he said.
Grant Sykes, another student who arrived in 2022, echoed those sentiments. Ms. Sykes, who became a Celebrities on TikTok Due to the videos she posted during Rush, she said she felt “let down” by the film. Compared to the dramatic trailer — which proclaimed, “This documentary could be the end of Greek life as we know it” — the finished product fell short, he said.
“Something they talked about wasn’t already known or something you couldn’t Google yourself,” said Ms Sykes, 20. “It wasn’t a documentary about Bama Rush! It was a documentary about a few girls and their lives.
“A lot of people were really hoping that it would expose things so that change could happen,” he said, adding that he wished “Bama Rush” would address racism, homophobia, fatphobia and hazing. Like exploring topics more deeply.
During Rush, rumors circulated that Ms. Sykes was a “documentary plant,” she said, a lie that she believes could have hurt her Rush chances.
“Why would a bob want to talk to me if they think I’m a plant?” Ms Sykes, who is non-binary, said. “I was like, ‘Do you honestly think I was sent here to hang out with a bunch of hot blonde chicks? Like, come on.'”
By the end of the process, he was not invited to join any gatherings, with most houses leaving him early. According to DMs reviewed by The New York Times, Ms. Fleet approached Ms. Sykes about the film in August. The pair never spoke, and Ms Six was not involved in the film.
Only two of the people seen in the film successfully join a bachelorette. One of them stopped participating. Once in the film, the rush started.
On TikTok, some viewers have criticized the inclusion of Mrs Fleet’s experience with alopecia and wearing a wig as a plot point in the film. “I really hate how the director of ‘Bama Rush’ went about this,” wrote one user A video.
The director defended his decision to make himself a part of the story.
“For me to express the compassion that I had for these young women,” Ms. Fleet said, “I needed to stand shoulder to shoulder with them and say, ‘You You know what? Me too. That’s what I relate to.”