Cutting Edge explores the purity movement in America, where one girl in every six pledges to remain a virgin, or to save her first kiss, until her wedding day.
Award-winning documentary-maker Jane Treays investigates whether this decision is made by the girls themselves or their parents, and follows a group of fathers and daughters as they prepare to attend a purity ball in Colorado Springs, run by Randy Wilson and his wife Lisa.
Two things were striking to the outsider. The first was how young the girls were: Hannah, aged 11, was going to her fifth ball, having started at the age of seven.
The second was the central role played by fathers: they squire the daughters to the ball, dance with them, receive fulsome tributes from them (Hannah: I adore being your daughter. When you spend time with me, you make me feel like a beautiful princess), and later on will be called on to vet any young man showing an interest.
According to Randy Wilson, the minister (self-appointed, the commentary noted) who organizes the Colorado Springs ball, the father is the significant individual in a young girl’s life: He is everything.