Friday, April 13, 2012

 

Bully

Bully Tyler Long, 17, hang himself in Georgia.

Ty Smalley, 11, committed suicide in Oklahoma.

Alex Libby, 12, has been tormented all the time at school in Iowa.

Kelby Johnson, 16, has been shunned after she came out as a lesbian in Oklahoma.

Ja'Meya, 14, was incarcerated after she fights back on a school bus in Mississippi.

These are just few bully victims portrayed in Lee Hirsch haunting and touching documentary "Bully" (USA 2011 | 99 min.).

Unfortunately, there are over 13 million American kids that are bullied each year. What happened in the film is just a snapshot of a widespread social problem—bullying. It is not just "kids being kids." It destroys lives and derails the future of children. It is an urgent issue that the society as a whole must confront and deal with.

Using "fly on the wall" style, the film remarkably captures the daily happening around these bully victims when they either on a school bus or at school. It observes the devastating bullying acts. These victims' first-hand accounts of the torment at school are heartbreaking. Sadly, some of them choose an easy way out by ending their young lives.

The film unveils the troubling fact that bullying is a widespread problem in American schools. Even without any attempt to analyze the theory or the cause of bullying, the film convincingly implies that the root of the problem lies in the school system and our culture. The incompetence of school staffs and the ignorance of uneducated parents are responsible for the continuing suffering of millions of bully victim.

ALEX HOPKINS in BULLY

The film does not offering any feasible solution to the epidemic of bullying in American schools. However, similar to "It Gets Better Project," the film provides a much needed service to raise the awareness. It sounds an alarm and brings hope. Viewing this film should be a requirement in the curriculum for every student in school, as well as their parents.

It is an appalling shame for Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to initially give this important documentary an R-rating. It shows how clueless and absurd MPAA truly is.

Let kids, parents, and educators watch this film. Let's put a stop on bullying. Let's save some young lives.

"Bully," a Weinstein Company release, opens on Friday, April 13, 2012 at Bay Area theaters.


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