Directed by: Lee Hirsch
Starring: Alex, Ja’Maya, Kelby, David Long, Tina Long, Kirk Smalley, Laura Smalley
Sassi’s Star Rating: 5/5
A young child is taken out of class and asked by a school staff member how it feels when other kids bully him. The soft-spoken reply from this young boy, ‘it breaks my heart,’ will do the same to yours.
Bully, directed by Lee Hirsch, documents the lives of several bullied students during a school year in America. Through the eyes of Alex, Kelby, Ja’Maya, and others, we see the effect being victimized has on children. We can hear Alex’s anxious breathing as he walks to the bus stop, knowing he’s in for another year of students teasing and punching him because they think he looks different. Kelby and her family are ostracized once their community learns she is gay, and Ja’Maya is pushed so far that she finally pushes back.
Bully is a poignant film, bringing the harshness of bullying to the big screen, and calling out the need for change, stressing that the abuse not only affects its victim, but the victim’s family, and the community as a whole.
Though somber it is a must see, covering a very big issue of our time. Sparking controversy in America, Bully also challenges the view that children are protected at school. Parents of victimized children speak out, desperate to know their children are safe from bullies, only to be turned away with pleasantries from officials that the problem will be taken care of, when it rarely is.
The resolve of parents David and Tina Long, and Kirk and Laura Smalley, to stop bullying is inspiring. They have lost so much, but have turned their tragedy into a movement, determined to save the lives of other children.
Bully is a call to action and Alex, Ja’Maya, Kelby, and the other children documented in this film are true heroes, wiser than their years, and standing up for those who can’t. Ostracized because they are different, pushed around because other kids think they’re weak, these children have made an important stand in this documentary and their message is clear. It’s time to stop bullying.
A haunting cry for action, Bully is a must see for anyone wishing a better life for our children, and our community. It all starts with one.
In cinemas now.
Category: Film & TV