EXCLUSIVE: With all the allegations of sexual abuse and harassment surfacing in Hollywood, Paige Goldberg Tolmach’s documentary What Haunts Us couldn’t come at a better time. With the film, Tolmach proves that the harm from complicit silence about sexual abuse goes beyond the bubble of Hollywood by bringing us to the seemingly perfect Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, South Carolina, where a teacher turned out to be a sexual predator — and nearly everyone at the school refused to address the horrible issue.
When Tolmach heard about the suicide of yet another former schoolmate, she begins to take a deeper look at the past. She asks questions that almost no one wants to answer, but as she digs deeper she learns an awful truth about a beloved teacher who methodically manipulated and molested many of his students for years. The story becomes her obsession and tries to understand why this happened in plain sight, but as the tale unfolds, the school knew about it all along. The docu shifts and becomes a story about our obligation to speak up and protect those who can’t protect themselves.