"Bully", the Movie by the Weinstein Group

"Bully" is a documentary released last year by the Weinstein Group at the Tribeca film festival. It's a hard-hitting documentary, showing in vivid and actual detail the distressing truth about bullying in schools.

The documentary follows five bullied children; it shows these kids being kicked, hit, punched; being thrown against lockers; it shows these kids being teased and tormented by their peers every day. Every single day.

Two of these bullied children have committed suicide. One has been arrested for carrying a weapon to school.

We live in such a violent society; children adore violence and weapons and guns. Movies and television exploit the thrill of violence over and over, right in the kids' faces. It isn't any wonder that children are being forced to accept violence as a part of life at a very early age. It also isn't any wonder, at least not to me, that the gentler children; the milder children with a genuine interest in learning, are punished and teased and picked upon unmercifully by their peers in school. And it isn't any wonder that these same kids might go to extremes to end their miseries.

I watched this trailer with mixed feelings of terrible pity for the boy and his parents; and horror at what our society has bred.

Tralier from the Film "Bully"

The movie is rated "R", so it can't be shown in schools.

That's the real kicker.

This movie, which is a critical piece for all those many millions of children being bullied and losing hope, every single day, can't be shown in schools.

I really wonder sometimes. Are the people who control these things all connected somehow? Is there some sort of universal spin doctoring going on, so that your average American person doesn't get to realize the extent or scope of the problems with schools? The problems with the media pouring blood and guts and violence into the minds of children through the conduits of movies and television and cartoons and video games?

Kids are bullied for all kinds of really stupid reasons:

  • Being a black kid in a mostly white school
  • Being a white kid in a mostly black school
  • Being good scholastically
  • Not being good at sports
  • Being skinny
  • Being fat
  • wearing glasses
  • having acne

You name it; red hair, even, can give other kids an excuse to bully the redhead.

The problem is real and widespread, and contributes to hundred of thousands of youthful deaths every year.

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Comments 23 comments

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 3 years ago from Upstate New York Author

You're right, and it's hard for us to imagine, as adults, the negative impact bullies have on sensitive kids.

DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Bullying has been going on for many years and the sad part about it, many parents don't even know what their children are going through.

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

I was bullied terribly, too, not only at school but at home by my siblings. All the kids were bigger and older than I; I was the youngest. It wasn't an enviable spot in my family. Kids physcially hurt each other and also are unmerciful towards personal differences and can just make a kid's life one of absolute misery. The kids don't know what they're doing--they're only kids. It's up to the adults around to stop them. It isn't fun and games. I agree so much with you, Rob, and thank you for your generous comment.

The one eleven-year-old that finally gives up and commits suicide went right to my heart. I understand perfectly how the kid felt.

Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

Hi; I've yet to see this film but I should. as a kid who was badly bulied in my school days, it will probably be hard to watch. But its about timem people realize that what goes on in schoools is more than just "kids fighting". It's really assault, and it leaves emotional as well as physical scars. Take it from me.

Thanks for the review,


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Excellent idea! I'm all for it.

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thanks for the comment, Matt.

twngma 4 years ago

I have a very simple solution-anytime a kid is found bullying-they should be expelled and their parents should have to pay to send them to a private school. School officials that ignore the bullying-should be fired. Hit the wallet and you will see this horror come to a halt.

mattdigiulio profile image

mattdigiulio 4 years ago

This topic brings up a lot for me. I was never bullied, and I think for this reason I'm sensitive in an odd when I here about others getting bullied. I am in no way comparing my sensitivity to theirs. Mine is academic, theirs is real. I really want to see this documentary. It seems hard-hitting, as you said. Thank you Paradise. Voting up.

RavenBiker profile image

RavenBiker 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA.

Just the other day, I saw a mom walking by me holding hte hand of a little girl no more than 18 months old. Just as all kids that age, they practice their speech which mostly sounds like blather. But believe you me, the words "Fuck you" came out of that little mouth among all the other incoherent syllables. The mom, of course, was "shocked"---but why? She HAD NO CAUSE TO BE SHOCKED! Kids that age IMMITATE.

Problem here, folks, is not so much the bullying but the lack of CIVILITY, RESPECT and COURTESY that the parents have. It's no wonder kids are the way they are!

Yes. I was bullied as a kid. Suicide thoughts were my companions on most days. But having had correct parenting, I knew it even then that it wasn't me the bullies had problems with. It was their lack of parenting.

If a parent is a bully, their kids are going to be too. If a parent doesn't sensure his language, the kids will sputter a few epitaths.

If a parent is not civil, respectful and courteous....you get my drift.

Thanks Paradise7 for sharing.

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

I'm so glad your child doesn't have this issue. It's shocking how badly the kids are treated. I wish we lived in a world where no one would ever harm children, no one at all.

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Exactly, Sweetie Pie, I couldn't agree more.

Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 4 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

Hi Paradise, my oldest, a boy nine years old, is at a prime age for being bullied, or for bullying, I ask him on a very regular basis if he has ever been bullied, if he has bullied, or if has ever witnessed anything. So far so good. The school my kids go to is a Peaceful School and as such, puts a lot of emphasis on the prevention of this kind of behaviour.

All the same, I agree with you that it is an outrage that this movie can't be shown where it would do the most good. Voted up and interesting.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

There are even adult bullies out there, which was demonstrated last night with the cruel remarks some people made on a story about a missing girl on the Huffington Post. I think as a society we need to teach more empathy to people of all ages, even adults.

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Good comment. I wondered about that myself--why would the person taking the pictures just stand by and let all these horrible things happen to the poor kids.

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

I have not watched the movie, but I would hope hidden cameras were used to record the bullying. I am not sure how any adult could stand by and watched kids be bullied, but there were a few times boys hit and kicked me on the playground, and no adults happened to see anything. I am so incredulous of this as I always notice stuff like this.

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thanks, Brewski. I think so, too.

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thanks for the comment, Doctor. Sam Weinstein and his group funded this project and promoted it specifically to create a film to be shown in schools, hoping that the dire consequences of the actions of the bullies in school would compel the kids to desist, or get enough kids' attention to alleviate the problem. It wasn't meant to be a box office movie or anything like that; it was intended to be shown in schools to both kids and parents. The "R" rating is just stupid, and there is presently a petition with over 200,000 signatures in an attempt to get it changed. Good luck! So far, the MPA (Motion Picture Association) is completely resistant.

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Bullying is on the rise, Paradise, and as you pointed out much of the credit belongs to films, television and comic books that exploit and glorify violence against others, especially those who are perceived as 'weaker' in some way.

The height of absurdity is that a film such as this that could accomplish so much more is NOT being shown in schools because of the R rating. It's not just parents and other adults that need to view this movie but the kids themselves.

brewskitimeguy profile image

brewskitimeguy 4 years ago from Maine

excellant article...this topic needs to be discussed over and over again

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Lady E, thank you so much for the comment. This film CANNOT be shown in schools, because it's rated "R". I'm sorry that I didn't make that clear in my hub. My apologies.

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thanks for the comment, Steven. I agree. I blame the American media, which adores violence and exposes youth to outrageous violence so repeatedly.

Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 4 years ago

I have to say this is a very well written hub. I think it's terrible that some kids have to suffer from being picked on in public schools. Plus, what makes it worse that schools seem to be unable to control their students these days, as I've read various reports on how the police had to get involved to keep them in line. It's really kind of sad how far down hill we've gone in society.

Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 4 years ago from London, UK

This is excellent and I am glad that it can be shown in schools. Bullying has a long term effect on kids - even up to when they leave school. It's good people are raising more awareness of it.

Great share.

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