Sunday, April 15, 2012

BULLY Movie Reveals Hidden Lives of Bullied Children

Bully Movie for Bubble Wrapped Generation and Helicopter Parents?
Bullied as a child, Bully director Lee Hirsch shot the film to show the hidden lives of bullied children.  The film humanizes the issue and makes it personal as we get a glimpse into the pain of bullying from the middle school child's perspective.  He also follows the grief stricken parents of two boys who committed suicide.

Giving Bullied Kids a Voice
Director Lee Hirsch said at the Bully premier, "The inspiration for this film, the thing that carried with me is giving a voice to that experience. Giving everyone whose been through it a way to say, this is what I go through."

Inspiring a Change of Heart
Hirsch continues, "We see everyone as change makers that they can sort of make a decision after seeing this film. Tomorrow's gonna be a little different.  They're going to look out for someone, they're gonna make that effort to befriend someone that's being bullied.  You don't have to change the world to stop bullying, you just have to take those small steps."

Pointing Out The Problem of Bullying, The Bullied and Bystanders
BULLY reveals what can sometimes happen to vulnerable kids when they have no idea how to stand up for themselves, handle aggressive behavior or bullying situations. It exposes the ignorance surrounding peace education, conflict resolution and safety skills lacking among the overly dismissive, denying or rationalizing adults. While watching, my mind flashed back to myself at that age and the bullying and aggressive behavior that was so commonplace.

Putting a Face on Bullying
In an interview after a screening Hirsch stated:
"I felt that the hardest part of being bullied was communicating," Hirsch said. "And getting help. I couldn’t enroll people’s support. People would say things like 'get over it,' even my own father and mother. They weren't with me. That was a big part of my wanting to make the film. It's cathartic on a daily basis." Hirsch said he hoped the film grows far beyond him, inspiring advocacy, engagement, and empowerment not just in people who are being bullied and in their families, but by those of us who all too often stand by and do nothing. He stated, "I hope we build something that’s really sustainable. I hope this takes on a life of its own."

When Ignoring Bullying Fails
The timely documentary film clearly makes the point of the failure of these adults to know when, how or why to intervene, if at all. It could be easy to overly generalize and say that this is the case with most schools and administrations, however, I have met and worked with amazing teachers and administrations who take this seriously and objectively.

USA Martial Arts Phoenix is Proud to Offer 
Fully Sponsored Bullying Prevention Workshops & Camps

We can do better by sharing best practices and listening to the right specialists, experts and experienced professionals.  That is I created Bullying Prevention Initiative International and the Phoenix BullyProof Project.  Hope and help are available for those who reach out.

Read my full review and 2 part commentary here

*sources: Enews and Wikipedia Bully

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