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Bully - Film Review

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Bully packs a punch
You should go and see Bully. Not because it's the most brilliant documentary ever made, but because it will spark conversation.

The film follows a bunch of kids from different US schools who, for different reasons are labelled outcasts.

It deals with horror bus rides, repeated mental abuse and suicide.

Bully also takes aim at the schools that let down their students and at the law system that doesn't always 'protect and serve'.

This documentary doesn't have all the answers but it raises a lot of questions. And minutes after, I thought 'this film isn't really affecting me', I felt tears well up in my eyes.

Alex is the subject of Bully a documentary you definitely should see

The main subject of Bully is Alex. He's 12 and, most likely because of his looks (the result of being a very premature baby), he's a target for bullies.

Truth is he doesn't fit in ANYWHERE. Even his younger sister tells him: "They don't like you at my school, they call you creepy."

Alex's mum (who you have seen interviewed on Seven's Sunday Night recently) wishes he'd communicate better. But the 12 year old just doesn't 'feel anything' anymore.

He's used to being set upon daily punched, stabbed with pencils, sat on on the school bus.

There comes a point in Bully where director Lee Hirsch (a victim of school bullying himself) shows Alex's parents footage of the bus ride and they take it to his school.

The response from the Vice Principal is astounding: "Buses are notoriously bad places."

Sadly, there are many more infuriating incidences and the Vice Principal's out of touch nature caused laughs (of disgust) from the cinema audience.

I don't want to tell you any more about the kids in Bully because you need the shock value of their stories. That's the only way this film will make its impact.

I will say I was surprised by some of the footage that people acted like THAT when they knew they were being filmed?

But I was impressed by the commitment of the parents to make a change. Especially the parents of suicide victims simple country folk - who don't buy into the sentiment that 'kids will be kids. Boys will be boys.'

Take your kids to see Bully (even though it's rated M) and then TALK about it.
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Why? Because we need to talk about bullying
Where: In cinemas
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