Thanks to Roadshow Entertainment we had the chance to see Lee Hirsch’s Bully on DVD.
Bully is a powerful documentary about the experiences of kids in cities across the USA, struggling with constant bullying in and out of school everyday. For instance, 12-year-old Alex’s nightmare daily bus trip to school, 16-year-old Kelby suffering homophobic insults and worst, a girl stealing her mother’s gun to confront her attackers, resulting in her going to a correctional facility. There are also many cases of parents fighting for their children’s honor who have committed suicide after being victims of bullying.
This documentary is not a sensationalist film as it focuses on real victims experiences and feelings instead of showing abusive footage as a tool to take immediate action. It does not force any party to be in front of the camera or depict inexperienced personnels taking naive actions to solve problems such as verbal warnings to aggressor or asking bully and victims to shake hands. But this does expose the ineptitude of the American education system.
It’s a deepening experience to learn about every victim’s case and see their parents (some visiting the cemetery) strong commitment to stop bullying by for example, forming focus groups in the community and holding commemorative events to honour the victims.
Additionally, it is thought provoking that director Lee Hirsch and his team had to fight against the R rating given to the film by MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), where kids in todays world can watch violent films or play such video games whenever they want. Thankfully, this film was re-labelled PG-13 as it is crucial for kids and adults around the world to see it, which will help to expose the issue at large and even save lives.
Bully is an essential opportunity for parents and kids to watch and open the discussion on this issue, as unfortunately it is real life and can happen to anyone…Just ask yourself this question after you see the film: What if those were my own kids?
Bully – available on DVD on 6 March, 2013