Director: Lee Hirsch
Writers: Lee Hirsch, Cynthia Lowen
Cast: Alex, Ja'Maya, Kelby, David Long, Tina Long, Kirk Smalley
Synopsis: This year, over 13 million American kids will be bullied at school, online, on the bus, at home, through their cell phones and on the streets of their towns, making it the most common form of violence young people in this country experience. BULLY is the first feature documentary film to show how we've all been affected by bullying, whether we've been victims, perpetrators or stood silent witness. The world we inhabit as adults begins on the playground. BULLY opens on the first day of school. For the more than 13 million kids who'll be bullied this year in the United States, it's a day filled with more anxiety and foreboding than excitement. As the sun rises and school busses across the country overflow with backpacks, brass instruments and the rambunctious sounds of raging hormones, this is a ride into the unknown. For a lot of kids, the only thing that's certain is that this year....
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense thematic material, disturbing content, and some strong language - all involving kids (edited for re-rating)
- "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.
- Do You Know a Bully at Work? How to Handle the Office Bully and Abuse: Financial, Verbal, Emotional,
Al types of bullying can occur in the workplace. Be aware of what may happen to you or your children at work, and help to spread the word. Some US States are considering Anti-Workplace Bullying laws.
Throughout our history, there have always been bullies. Many of them come in all shapes and sizes; while often involving individuals belittling those that are unable to fight back. Sure some try to fight back, but many fail trying. And in the politically correct society that we live in where discipline has become the subject of debate, it seems even most public schools are unsure what to do about school bullying. Sure, you might find some schools willing put an end to it, and we can't possibly expect the teachers to raise the children too. But then again, what are we supposed to do? Does the problem start with the school system? Or does it stem from the problems of the parents, who raised the bullies. And if they're not willing to do anything, then where do we go from there?
Does anyone truly have answer? "Bully" is a tragic documentary that goes over various accounts of bullying throughout the United States. One case showing how a poor boy kills himself when he feels constantly tortured by bullies. Another case shows a little girl going to jail for threatening her classmates with a weapon, as she felt she had to take matters into her own hands to stop the bullying; while showing how one child just naturally accepts the abuse as a common occurrence.
To be honest, this is a bit of a touchy subject for me, as I too was a victim of bullying at school during my younger years, so I do know a little bit about what this film discusses. Indeed, it can be stressing when your bullied at school, at such a young age. And, it can be equally stressing being the parent of such a child that has to endure such abuse; while putting up with a school system that seems almost powerless to prevent bullying completely in the first place. However, as another controversial documentary pointed out called "Waiting for Superman", most public schools are ridiculously over crowded; which makes it that much harder teachers to monitor everyone. Plus, there's the matter of the parents who raise said bullies, yet seem to show little concern. And if they don't care, then where do we go from here?
What makes "Bully" such an interesting documentary to watch is that it not only shows how bullying can affect a child from different angles, but it's wise not to incite blame on a specific source; hence covering this controversial look at bullying from all angles.
During the documentary, it even shows how bullies are easily able to get away with things at school, without making it look like they're doing anything, and it even goes as far as to show the psychological damage that bullying can inflict on a child.
As many of my readers know, I usually never allow the emotional factor of any film to get to me. However, I'd be lying if "Bully" wasn't one of those rare films that got to me personally. Maybe it's because I know from firsthand experience what bullying is like, or it could be something else entirely. Whatever the issue may be, bullying is a serious issue in the world, and it's not going away anytime soon.
Granted, there's always been bullies throughout our history that come in all shapes and sizes. Some could call tyrants like Adolf Hitler a bully because he wanted to genocide an entire race. Or, a bully can be someone that's an average internet troll talking crap to someone continuously online, to get a rise out of them. However, with the subject of discipline becoming questionable, and over populated schools with a few neglectful parents, it's soon becoming an issue of when will bullying end? How do we stop it?
It's not an easy question to answer, and I love how the director wisely chooses not to give out any firm answers; while asking the right questions. Sure, you can probably say that about some of Michael Moore's documentaries too, but his can tend to be a bit biased. Whereas "Bully", it's business chooses mainly to inform people of a serious issue that not only affects those living in the United States, but all over the world as well.
As for the cinematography and other things about this movie, I honestly found this to be a well paced documentary. Seriously, I'll be very disappointed if the Academy Awards doesn't nominate this film next year. It was not only informative, but it was also entertaining as well; which is quite an accomplishment for any documentary.
In the end, I would have to give this one a perfect four out of four rating. However, I wouldn't recommend this film to anyone that doesn't normally watch documentaries. But if you like educational yet entertaining films, then I would highly recommend it though.
Before we conclude this review, I would like to close with a message to all my readers out there about my thoughts on bullying.
Message to all my readers:
As I mentioned earlier, bullying is a bit of a touchy subject for me, and I too know what it was like to be bullied as a child. In my younger years, I too found myself as a victim of bullying for various reasons, so I know it's not a great experience to go through.
However, bullying is an issue in society that we all need to take seriously. If your a bully yourself and happen to pick on someone because it makes you feel good, then ask yourself this. How would you feel if the roles were reversed? Look at things from other peoples' perspectives, and remember to treat others the way you would like to be treated. Yes, it may give you a boost of self esteem to belittle those you feel can't defend for themselves, but how do you think that poor victim feels? Place yourself in their shoes, and ask yourself..is this how I would like to be treated?
As for the parents of said bullies, I know some of you parents out there may claim to always be too busy to instill discipline in your children. However, as a child, my mother had to raise my brother and me on her own most of the time, when my father was TTI in the military. My father was rarely around, and he rarely gave my mother much money out of his salary to support us. Therefore, my mom had to work two jobs, while going to school part time. Yet, she always found time to teach me and my brother right from wrong, when we were kids. Look, I'm not here to judge anyone, or tell anyone how to raise their children, but when it comes to teaching your kids right and wrong, it's important to make time to teach these valuable lessons in life.
As for the victims of bullying, I know it's hard to go through. However, your not alone. If your constantly being bullied by someone, then talk to your teachers or parents about it. I know it's hard because you may not want to look like a snitch, but sometimes in life we all need a little help sometimes, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Bullying is a tragic case in today's society, and it needs to stop....