Review by Pete Mason
The documentary “Bully” is an impressive and powerful film, aimed at the students and their parents and thanks to the Weinstein company forgoing a rating (the MPAA sought to rate it PG-13 for a few swear words) and should be required viewing for all student grades 4-12.
While bullying has been around for ages and will not go away due to this film, the reality of the impact of bullying is seen in two suicides, an incarceration in a juvenile center, a student withdrawing from school and two students who stuck it out, despite numerous continued instances of bullying in school and on the bus. To discount the message that “Bully” sends is to throw hands up in surrender and accept bullying in schools, in society and as a unstoppable constant in our lives.
Directed by Lee Hirsch and featuring students across the south and Midwest in middle and high school, the film jumps around to each student during the movie, rotating in their stories, sharing the details of their lives. Alex is called “fish lips,” stabbed with pencils on the bus, pushed into lockers and is scared to admit to his parents what happens. Only the documentary footage proves the unspoken.