Bully (2012)

Rated PG-13. Our ratings: V -2; L -3; S/N -1. Running time: 1 hour 38 min.

Speak out for those who cannot speak,
or the rights of all the destitute.
Proverbs 31.8

A school bus ride is often hell for victims of bullying.

© 2012 Weinstein Company

After seeing this documentary about five abused youth I was glad that the filmmakers fought to secure a PG-13 rather than an R rating from the Motion Picture Ratings Board. The latter rating would have prevented the audience that needs to see it the most from getting into the theaters, or, probably, would have discouraged schools from showing the film to their students.

The problem the filmmakers tackle is huge—we are told that over 13 million children and youth will be bullied this year, either on school buses, on the playground, or through social media. Two of the five children profiled committed suicide. So we learn about them only through their families, friends and photos. Instead of saying, as one school official does, “boys will be boys,” the people in this film show that we can do something about those who cannot help themselves. Everyone connected in any way with children and youth should see this film and talk about it with others—youth and adults!

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