College is supposed to be the best years of a young adult’s life, filled with personal exploration, sex, parties and intellectual growth. Yet on many campuses there has been a general attitude of “boys will be boys,” allowing misogyny, bigotry, cyber-harassment and violence to permeate student life.
We watch as fed up students and professors rise up. We meet a rape survivor hell-bent on justice who returns to the scene of the crime; a frat bro who exposes the horrific secrets of his fraternity; and a transgender activist who attempts to stop prospective students from matriculating because, more and more students believe, “campus life has a problem”. Their grass-roots activism and art garners national press attention as they forge alliances across campuses, generating unexpected powerful outcomes.
Silent U. asks critical questions: How do we transform a culture where violence is normalized? How can we change powerful institutions driven by financial concerns, reputation and brand identity? How do we hold accountable the federal government, the police, and the courts in protecting student safety and equal access to education? The characters in this film lead us to some of the answers.