Tag: R rating


March 23rd, 2012 — 4:21pm


Bully- sp  The film makers Lee Hirsch and Cynthia Lowen  have tackled a very difficult  and important subject as they take on bullying in schools and its consequences. The value of this documentary and its message actually supercedes the quality of the  production, which at times is uneven, drawn out, and does not always paint a clear story of each of its subjects. The movie does tell the story of several cases of bullying in school, which in some instances has led to tragic suicides. The movie shows children being bullied at school and on school buses. It captures some of the discussions at home between parents and children who are being bullied. The viewer follows some particular parents as they visit the school officials and in some cases sees them being told, “Children will be children etc.” The filmmakers have recorded an intimate portrait of families who have lost a child to suicide after being bullied. It shows their grief and how it is being transformed into a nationwide movement to address this issue. We are inspired as we see their determination to make a difference and save children so they don’t end up with such tragic consequences. We were quite touched, as was the audience with whom we screened this film. Much of the thrust of the film, which was restated by a family that was in the film and spoke at our screening, was that school authorities are not doing enough to stop and prevent bullying. Discussion from our audience brought out an example from India where school athletes are given the responsibility to speak out whenever they see bullying occurring in their school and another example from a local California school where every freshman in high school is given a big buddy or mentor of a senior who looks out for them. Part of the great value of this movie would be if it could be shown to the high school kids themselves who would see and appreciate the destructive nature of bullying. However, it is ironic that the movie is given an R rating because of a few “f words” heard in the background” which means that it can only be seen by those 18 years and older.  There is a campaign to get the Rating Board to change the rating. This movement is getting the film quite a bit of publicity, which may be why the producers have not chosen to edit out those few words.  (2012)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Documentary

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