original film poster
|Directed by||Gerard McMurray|
|Music by||Kevin Lax|
|Cinematography||Isiah Donté Lee|
|Edited by||Evan Schrodek|
Burning Sands is a 2017 American drama film, directed by Gerard McMurray, from a screenplay by McMurray and Christine Berg. It stars Trevor Jackson, Alfre Woodard, Steve Harris, Tosin Cole, DeRon Horton and Trevante Rhodes.
Five young men pledge Lambda Lambda Phi Fraternity at the historically Black institution, Frederick Douglass University. Student Zurich leads the pledge class as they endure big brother hazing on campus and at line ups at fraternity house. The pledges balance their time in class with English professor Hughes and their new fraternity life of parties, sorority girls and dating. The pledge class learns the brotherhood mottos and bonds together because of or despite moral and physical hazing.
Dean Richardson, a Lambda Phi alumnus, holds himself out as an example of the fraternity system and extols its virtues. He makes himself available to be told of pledge abuse but not far enough to break the fraternity code of silence and secrecy. One night the hazing goes too far and a big brother advises the pledge class to drop off a seriously injured pledge at the emergency room but to avoid the cameras. Despite the advice, the young neophyte fraternity brothers wait together at the hospital awaiting the fate of their friend, Frank. After seconds of waiting the doctor tells them that Frank died of a ruptured aorta artery. Zurich takes out his cell phone and calls his dad, realizing why his father never joined the fraternity, and the movie ends.
- Trevor Jackson as Zurich
- Alfre Woodard as Professor Hughes
- Steve Harris as Dean Richardson
- Tosin Cole as Frank
- DeRon Horton as Earnest(Square)
- Dominique Mari as Tiffany
- Mitchell Edwards as Stephon
- Christian Robinson as Big Country
- Trevante Rhodes as Fernander
- Malik Bazille as Dwight
- Octavius J Johnson as Ron
- Rotimi Akinosho as Edwin
- Serayah as Angel
- Nafessa Williams as Toya
- Imani Hakim as Rochon
- Adriyan Rae as Candy
- Racquel Bianca John as Joy
- Chiké Okonkwo as Breyton
In January 2016, it was announced Gerard McMurray would direct the film, from a screenplay by himself and Christine Berg, while Stephanie Allain, Jason Michael Berman of Mandalay Pictures, Reginald Hudlin and Shawn Knapp will serve as producers on the film alongside Netflix. In January 2017, Common boarded the film as an executive producer and will contribute an original song to the film.
Burning Sands received positive reviews from film critics. It currently holds an 87% approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, based on 23 reviews, with an average rating of 7.1/10. On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average rating of 63 out of 100, based on 7 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
- Jafaar, Ali (January 20, 2016). "Netflix Expands Global Indie Strategy With Slate Of New Features". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
- Patten, Dominic (January 20, 2017). "Common Joins Sundance Pic 'Burning Sands' As EP, Will Contribute Original Song". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
- Patten, Dominic (December 5, 2016). "Sundance 2017: Robert Redford, New Rashida Jones Netflix Series, 'Rebel In The Rye' & More On Premiere, Docu, Midnight & Kids Slates". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
- Netflix (December 5, 2016). "Netflix Announces Slate of Original Films, Documentaries and Series at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival". The Futon Critic. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
- "Burning Sands (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
- "Burning Sands Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 27, 2018.