What “Bully” sets out to do is show that bullying as a whole and as a concept is not something that’s going to go away very easily. And any time soon. Many critics regarded this film as a failure for not giving us sources to help fight bullying. But “Bully” really isn’t about being a resource for folks to help the cause against bullying. What the film is intent on accomplishing is showing America, and the world, that bullying is a very real and very damaging problem, and will affect everyone involved within its horrible circle. It’s up to audiences to get up and look for ways to snuff out the epidemic bullying in classes and in schools before we have to read about yet another group of children massacring a high school of innocent victims because they weren’t being heard or helped.
As a long time victim of some of the worst bullying imaginable, “Bully” struck a chord with me and hit on many sore spots, including the dehumanizing effect it can have on you, the psychological toll it can take, the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness the victims can feel during the bullying, and the under reaction by authority figures. Those in chairs of authority that can provide amazing change are still trying to decide if bullying is something that should even be recognized as a problem. And it’s sad to see many young adults take their own lives or resort to violence to end the torture while officials still can’t figure out how to conquer this problem in schools. What’s “Bully” confronts is also the notion that the affect bullying has on us as kids will also carry on in to adult hood and produce potentially angry and violent individuals, all of whom will be victimized again.
“Bully” asks a lot of hard and impossible questions, and leaves it up to the audience to figure out how to help kids like the individuals featured in the film from experiencing another day of pain for simply existing. No one should be treated like an animal simply because they look differently. At some point action must be taken to where bullying is just another problem of the bygone era. Featured on the DVD are twelve minutes of deleted scenes, as well as a short look at Alex’s life after the documentary and what he’s been up to. There’s also a look at Alex rapping for an Award’s show, and a look at Kelby’s life. There’s a two minute discussion with Meryl Streep on her reaction to the film, as well as a five minute look at bullying initiatives being placed across the country.
There’s the six minute look at Sioux City after Bully, and an eight minute interview with Alex and his mother for Good Morning America. There’s also the three minute look at Daniel Cui whose error during a soccer game made him the target for bullying and was saved by his teammates who helped him fight back. Director Lee Hirsch doesn’t provide sugar coating for his audience. Bullying is indeed a problem in our schools and in many social circles online and out of the playground and must be snuffed out before more lives are lost. The hows and whys depend on how much you, as the change, are willing to commit to the cause.