Film Review: Bully

Courtesy of the Weinstein Company

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Bully

WEINSTEIN COMPANY

90 minutes

The so-called bullying crisis in American schools has never seemed so endemic. In Emmy Award-winning director Lee Hirsch’s new doc, kids are punched, strangled, and relentlessly taunted in all the familiar (offline) places—school bus, playground, cafeteria—driving children as young as 11 to suicide. Weaving together the stories of five families deeply affected by bullying, Hirsch explores who, if anyone, is to blame. While he talks to both frightened parents and maddeningly resigned school administrators, the best segments come in the frank and often intensely insightful conversations with the kids themselves. Side note: The soundtrack is excellent, with songs by Grizzly Bear and the Magnetic Fields and a cover of “Teenage Dirtbag” sung by Scala & Kolacny Brothers, a Belgian women’s choir.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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