Bully (Film Review)

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Bully (2012) The Weinstein Company
1 hr. 34 mins.
Starring: various
Directed by: Lee Hirsch
MPAA Rating: NR
Genre: Documentary

Critic’s Rating: *** stars (out of 4 stars)

Filmmaker Lee Hirsch’s stark documentary Bully is a different kind of horror show that is profoundly riveting in its chilling reality. Hirsch’s absorbing narrative is a reminder that we are living in very cynical and distrusting times. The insensitivity and intolerance that human beings demonstrate towards one another is a divisive societal disease that is so common in today’s headlines.

Powerful, horrific and eye-opening, Bully is a cautionary tale that should resonate with moviegoers that are tired and shocked about this infuriating phenomenon of bullying and the catastrophic cocktail that it brings to ruining the vulnerable lives of its victims and their families and associates. In this disturbing instance, Bully dutifully examines the case studies of five youngsters that were brutally harassed in schools that predictably resulted in tragedy. Inevitably, two of these tortured kids would kill themselves as a result of the on-going torment at the hands of their bully’s physical, emotional and mental brutality.

Sadly, we witness how the bullies’ fear tactics are reinforced by the indifference and non-existent hands-on-approach by school officials and other authority figureheads that appear dismissive if not clueless on how to attack this persistent problem. Stunningly, there is revealing footage presented to the school system brass about the evidence of bullying practices on the school bus. So what was the response at hand? In typical fashion the rationale was short and simple: sorry, there is no way to police the school bus and prevent such misguided deeds from harmful kids impacting their vulnerable peers.

As potent and provocative as Bully is in front of the camera the behind-the-scenes controversy threatens to overshadow the movie’s harsh insightful message. Evidently...

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