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From Sundance Award-winning filmmaker, Lee Hirsch, comes a beautifully cinematic, character-driven documentary following five kids and families over the course of a school year. Offering insight into different facets of America’s bullying crisis, the stories include two families who have lost children to suicide and a mother awaiting the fate of her 14-year-old daughter, who has been incarcerated after bringing a gun on her school bus. With an intimate and often shocking glimpse into homes, classrooms, cafeterias and principals' offices, this is a powerful and inspiring film that every educator, parent and teenager should see.
I knew before I even sat down to watch this film that it was going to be a hard film for me to review. Mainly because everything these bullies do just angers me to no end. We are suppose to be the more intelligent species but some of the things people do, kids and adults alike makes me wonder. After the film was over and I had a chance to take in what I had just witnessed I decided to keep my review short and to the point so not to offend others with my point of view over the subject matter. I have had my own experience with Bullying through a family member and I too watched as the school did nothing about the problem so I have some knowledge on the subject like so many others have as well.
Directed by Lee Hirsch who was a victim of bullying himself growing up. The film follows 5 students in schools in Georgia, Iowa, Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma as they deal with bullying on a daily basis, some with tragic results which angers me the most. There is a lot of footage from school buses, which appears to be ground zero for bullying. Many may find the school bus footage to be shocking, I wasn't at all shocked by any of it because the bus has always been a prime spot for bullying to occur. Hats off the the filmmakers here who seen that some of the violence was getting to the point where it was concerning so they decided to show the footage to Alex's parents and the school admins. When Alex's parents have a meeting in the school the reaction from the Assistant Principal is enough to get any parent's blood flowing. This is a major problem that teachers and school admins need to start taking very serious and get after the students who bully other right away in order to stop it before someone gets hurts or worse.
I want to personally thank Lee Hirsch and his crew for making this film and shedding a lot of light as well as creating awareness on a very big problem in society today. Bullying is not only a problem in schools it's everywhere and it is not only done against kids, there are plenty of adults out there suffering the same abuse and something needs to be done and it starts with those in charge taking responsibility and getting to the problem as soon as they see it happening. A disturbing yet very important film that children and adults as well should see. The film's impact on those that see it will be great, it will shock and anger everyone which I hope in turn makes for swift change because we cannot afford to lose another life over these senseless acts.
Available on DVD and Blu-ray, both contain the PG-13 version of the film as well as Special Features that include:
The Bully Project at Work featurette
Communities In Motion
Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment
***** Out Of *****