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"Bully" (90 min.) is the self-explanatory title of this documentary, directed by Lee Hirsch (who he himself was a victim of bullying when growing up, reason for wanting to make this film). The movie basically follows 5 students in schools in Georgia, Iowa, Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma as they deal with bullying in an almost daily basis, some with tragic results. There is a lot of footage from school buses, which appears to be ground zero for bullying. I assume Hirsch was able to mount some cameras in the bus unbeknowst to the kids. What we see is sometimes shocking. In the case of 12 yr. old Alex, the bullying becomes so violent that in the middle of the movie, we are informed that the film producers were so concerned with Alex's safety that they decided to share the school bus footage with Alex's parents and also with his school principal. Next we see the parents meeting with the school's Assistant Principal, who informs the parents that she is familiar with bus 54 (the bus Alex takes) and has done that route herself on occasion and "these kids are good as gold" (as you cam imagine, the theatre audience I was watching this with let out a huge moan at that point). Indeed, throughout the film, school administrations seemingly do little or nothing, or are in complete denial, or both. Just outrageous. Back to the rating of the movie: the MPAA simply made itself look like a buffoon by giving this movie an R rating, when in reality this movie should be watched by every single kid in America 10 years and older.Read more ›
If you're an adult survivor of the kind of heinous treatment the kids in this movie endure, it may trigger a PTSD episode. If it never happened to you, you will be absolutely stunned at what goes on. They don't sugar-coat anything. Some of the footage is raw and disturbing. These kids know that the cameras are there; they've been recorded since before they were born. They know they are being watched, and they still behave like animals. It makes you really wonder what they do when they know no one is looking.
It is kind of limited in scope. They never interview the bullies, so we never know why they think it's OK to treat other kids that way. It doesn't get much into cyber bullying. All of the stories are from small towns. I don't think they intentionally tried to smear small town America, but having one story from a major metropolitan school system would have been helpful. Where are school administrators who fight bullying? They're certainly not in this film, and after I watched it, I'm convinced they don't even exist.
Alex stands out because they followed him around the most, yet they neglected to mention that he has Asperger Syndrome. With Kelby they mentioned she was gay almost every chance they had, but Alex's autism was never mentioned.Read more ›
This is a difficult film to watch, as the camera captures the emotionally painful lives of five families whose children were victims of school bullying. Two of the kids committed suicide, while another in a desperate effort to get her fellow students to leave her alone, threatened then with a gun and wound up in jail.
However, what is truly distressing about BULLY is the "kids will be kids" and "there's not really much that we can do" attitude of the idiotic school administrators and local police who seem to prefer to ignore the issue.
Perhaps if officials like these had addressed the bullying problems in their school, a tragedy like Columbine would not have occurred.
BULLY is not "entertainment," but it is a film that every kid, parent and school official should watch.
The DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment contains many deleted scenes, featurettes and other extras.
© Michael B. Druxman
It really asks you to look at this pandemic bullying. It does what voices cant it makes you look at what is going on in schools everyday. A situation that has morphed into an extreme form a grotesque torture of our children everyday. When the film visited the parents of children who had committed suicide I broke down. It just makes me so sad that these children were in such a dark place emotionally and that the school district would not take responsibility for not protecting these children. Schools are always screaming that they are De Facto parents while children attend their schools . Alleluia then what happens when our children are bulled? they look the other way and feel no shame for it . There is no other way to tell this story people make light of it and then get perplexed when these children take their own lives because of this relentless bullying . Our society better take a stand as a whole . I was reading a blog another mom wrote about this and she quoted Hillary Clinton, "It takes a village to raise a child". I have one better than and its by a prophet who I adore Rev. Martin Luther King "Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way." That said it all as a woman, a mother , and as a human we cant let our children put up with this. Some kids can take it but some cant and there is another beast to tackle the internet which pretty much feels like the whole entire world to a child who is breaking down day by day . This needs to be our first lady, Michele Obama's priority . One child even brought a gun on the bus to protect herself.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is such a compelling documentary and I wish that more parents would sit down and watch this movie with their kids. Kindness starts with one and it starts at home... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
A great movie, and must watch for kids and parents alike. This documentary pulls on the heart strings and provokes many emotions. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Sarah
I showed this movie to my 6th and 7th graders (with permission slips) and it was such a good experience for them. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Erica Marzano