Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bully Movie Review

Bully Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello

Bullying has often been a serious issue that has been pushed into the background because parents and administrators don’t want to admit that their children are doing anything wrong. But the new documentary ‘Bully,’ which was directed, produced and written by Long Island native Lee Hirsh, aims to prove that students who are harassed by their classmates feel as though they have no sense of belonging. With the Weinstein Company, the studio that’s distributing the film, recently deciding to release it unrated, as opposed to keeping the R rating the MPAA gave it, bullied students finally have a movie they can see and relate to that stands up for their rights.

‘Bully’ brings attention to the fact that over 13 million American students are bullied by their peers every year, and is the most common form of violence children experience across the country. The documentary is a character-driven film, which follows students nationwide who suffered from bullying, including 12-year-old Alex Libby from Sioux City, Iowa; 16-year-old Kelby Johnson from Tuttle, Oklahoma; 14-year-old Ja’Meya Jackson from Yazoo County, Mississippi and the families of 17-year-old Tyler Long of Murray County, Georgia and 11-year-old Ty Smalley, who both committed suicide after being relentlessly bullied.

Over the course of the 2009-10 school year, Hirsh chronicled the children’s lives and the persistent torment they experienced from their classmates, and proved bullying transcends geographic, racial, ethnic and economic borders. ‘Bully’ also showcases the growing movement among parents and their children to change how bullying is handled in schools, communities and society as a whole.

Hirsh bravely showcased how anyone can be bullied throughout their childhood, just because they’re perceived to be different, in ‘Bully.’ The Emmy-winning director decided to film the devastating epidemic that plagued him as a child, as he was bullied throughout much of his childhood and middle school years. Those experiences shaped his direction as a filmmaker, and his drive to show the country how children are targeted just for being themselves.

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