Leave No Trace tries to investigate the claims of sexual abuse that exposed the failure of the Boy Scouts of America to protect their young Scouts.
First, I have to say that I had an idea about what was going on with the Boy Scouts of America. But I had no idea how corrupt they were. How in hell did they manage to cover up over 80,000 sexual assaults?
The documentary takes us through the history of The Boy Scouts of America with a focus on the institution’s sexual abuse scandals. And there’s a LOT of those. And in each instant, they had a shamefully inadequate response. Even recently with the 82,000 abuse claims made against the once proud organization within a 20-year period.
In fact, straight from the beginning, Leave No Trace sets about the task of revealing how the once-revered organization fell from grace, and it does so with a brutal clarity that’s one of its most potent weapons. Starting with interviews with survivors, all the way to previous trials and publicly available documents published by BSA themselves that shows how bad they mishandled sexual assaults claims dating as far back as the 1940s.
Yes, some parts of the documentary felt awkward and more of a filler. However, even if the pacing occasionally slacks, Leave No Trace makes up for it in narrative twists and turns that shock without feeling exploitative towards the survivors.
Should you watch it?
The documentary will take viewers through a cathartic journey, a variety of emotions flooding the hour and forty-eight-minute run time, leaving its audience both informed and emotionally invested. I know I was. Another corrupt American institution that gets away with it because of money.