Tribeca 2022: “Leave No Trace”

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Children are the most precious bundles of joy we bring to this life. The moment we hold them in our arms, we realize we will do, as parents, our best to give them the happiest life possible. We raise them. We send them to daycares, camps, schools and all other institutions with the hope to instill in them a bright individual ready to hit the street of the welcoming society. But what happens if one of those institutions we entrusted upon fails? Fails not just you and me, but those kids to the point where the trauma they get is irreparable?

“Leave No Trace” is an investigative documentary film that provides an insight into the century-long cover-up by The Boyscouts of America (BSA) that kept in secret the cases of child molestation within its premise. By hiding a number of pedophiles within its ranks, the organization closed its eyes to dozens of complaints, while the parents were sending their boys to the camp not realizing that some of them will be sexually harassed. Corruption, outrage, a web of lies and the truth that comes out are what this story will focus on, by capturing the moment of truth for its victims and finding a way to become a survivor.

An organization founded in 1910, it was meant to help boys grow into honorable men. However, learning about the number of child molesters the BSA had and allowing the children to go through unwanted relationships with their superiors is mind-blowing and shocking. During the time of its existence, over 82,000 victims filed claims, the victims, whose lives were individually ruined. That’s why Irene Taylor’s film “Leave No Trace” hits so hard. Because through the cleverly constructed narrative and the sequence of interviews and the information it throws on you each second, you will watch it without a blink, perhaps, with tears coming down. One particular line will devastate you but pretty much sums up the entire story: “If I knew they will do the same to my younger brother, I would have spoken up earlier.”

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