Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bully

I found myself in tears the other morning.  Listening to a morning radio show.  Like, a morning comedy radio show.  You know the kind, an ensemble cast headed up by a strong, boisterous, opinionated, comedic personality, taking calls, reciting some of the more interesting news headlines, joking about what each of them would do in a ludicrous situation...

The host of this very same morning radio show had surprised me last year when, after a particularly poignant episode of Glee and a related PSA the previous night, he spoke out (albeit briefly) against the use of the "r-word," sparking a bit of a debate amongst listeners on his Facebook page, of which I stepped in and gave my opinion. 

The host of this very same morning radio show had as a guest the other morning, the very same morning that had me in tears, the director of the new, unrated movie, Bully, Lee Hirsch.  I'm sure you've heard about this movie.  At least, I hope you have.  While I have not yet seen it, I am hoping, hoping, hoping, with every teensy tiny last little bit of me that is capable of hoping, that every. single. man. woman. and child will see this movie.  Funny to say that, when I haven't seen it myself, but just thinking about it give me goose bumps.  It's that important. 

Bully is unrated.  This means that regardless of content, anyone of any age can go to see it. 

Bully is a documentary that follows the lives of several school children who are victims of bullying.

I was in tears listening to Lee Hirsch speak, listening to his passion and thinking about how IMPORTANT this film is.  I am in awe of him for putting this together, for fighting so hard for it to remain unrated, for advocating so strongly for those who are bullied, for getting the message across to everyone that Bullying is NOT Okay.  (okay, getting teary-eyed again...)

Bully follows the children to school and at home.  Hirsch said that it was very difficult not to step in to defend the children when they were being tormented, like in an incident on a school bus, but he said that he and the children had an agreement about it, that they were all for the necessary struggle that would bring everything to light, to perhaps change their worlds.

I can't even imagine.

And my heart goes out to these children and to all of those that have gone through or are going through incidents of bullying, no matter how small the incidents may seem to some.  Because they're not small.  Not to the victims.  One shove, one act of public humiliation, one act of private violence works to kill them inside, works to kill who they are.  I hate the word kill, and find it uncomfortable to type, but this is an uncomfortable topic. 

Hooray for Lee Hirsch and to Lady Gaga as well, both strong advocates seeking change! 

I want nothing more than to protect my daughter, to see her thrive in a world full of love and acceptance.  I know that there are some very real obstacles that threaten to stand in the way.  I hope, hope, hope, with every teensy tiny last little bit of me that is capable of hoping, that things are changing in the right direction, that this world full of love and acceptance can be realized in the not-too-distant future. 

I wish for Bully to be mandatory viewing for all students of all schools, and shame on the parents that would keep their children away from it, shame on the educators that would deny its importance and power to make schools a safe place, to make their students better citizens of the world, shame on the children and adults who would watch and not be moved to make a difference. 

Pass it on...

13 comments:

Leah said...

Thanks for posting. I am so out of the loop that I hadn't heard of it. Will definitely put it on my short list.

April Vernon said...

Sounds like a powerful movie. I am so glad someone devoted their time to creating such a meaningful film. I will be on the lookout for it. Thanks for sharing!

BTW, I LOVE your blog background!

Cate said...

I keep hearing about it and...I am torn. I really want to see it, and yet, I am afraid to.

Becca said...

I'm TOTALLY right there with you, Cate. I'm terrified of it. Maybe that's why I wrote this post...so I can be a hypocrite and make everyone *else* go to see this movie!! I know how *I* feel about the subject, but can't vouch for everyone else. LOL But I know, in the long run, I *do* need to see it.

tekeal said...

thanks for the info and push...

my family said...

looking forward to seeing it. it is the bullies who wont watch...they are scared

Chromosomally Enhanced said...

I saw news story about his movie and said the same thing..Chad and I MUST watch this...I am looking forward to learning seeing and helping understand the culture of bullying...how not to ignore it because it can be so painful...what signs to look for...I thought I heard on NPR the other day that it got a rating finally so it could be in more theaters and cities...smiles

Rochelle said...

Hadn't heard of it but, interested to see it.

Becca said...

In response to Kim...

Having a rating is actually a double-edged sword here. On the one hand, it's great to *not* have a rating, because it can be viewed by anyone of any age. I feel that the film can best benefit some of the youngest viewers, teaching them from a very young age how damaging bullying can be. However, the flip side of that is that many theaters don't want to carry it without a rating. So, in giving it a rating, you get it opened in more theaters, but somewhat restricted to a particular audience.

ChaCHA online said...

This has been quite the hot topic lately, and it SHOULD be. The awareness that this movie can bring to the public is indescribable and painfully necessary. I just hope to see it soon, while it is still in theaters. I think a lot of the impact of the message comes from sitting in a room full of strangers to watch such an awkward and uncomfortable movie-- KNOWING that most likely part of the audience has been bullied and part of them are/were bullies.

Jenny said...

I plan on watching this with all my kids, I think it has a very important message. I wish they would just go ahead and give it a rating so it could circulate more through the Theaters...I am pretty sure that no matter what the rating parents would still take their kids to see it...I would anyway :)

Rob Monroe said...

They managed to finally get it rated so that it could be put into more movie theaters, on more screens. Most will not show unrated because it scares parents and such away.

I have friends who have seen it - I need to get out and see it too. Incredible that they were able to produce it, want to honor that and have some really tough conversations with my youth.

Melissa said...

I am so out of touch with everything that I hadn't heard about this movie. I've added to my must see list!