Bully 3½/4

August 23, 2012 by James Berardinelli - Reelviews
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Columbine has never been a mystery to me. A tragedy, yes, but not mystery…writes James Berardinelli.

The most surprising thing about Columbine is that it took so long for something like that to happen. Anyone who has been bullied probably understands this, and there’s little in Lee Hirsch’s documentary, Bully, that will be considered eye-opening to victims of all shapes, sizes, races, and creeds. But for those who have been lucky enough to have escaped the physical and verbal taunts of other children, Bully is likely to leave a powerful impression.

When one decides to become a parent, there are a host of things to worry about. Drugs. Alcohol. Scholastic aptitude. Elmo. And so forth… Bullying, however, doesn’t appear on the average mom or dad’s radar unless it happens and there’s a unfortunate tendency to dismiss it as an ugly part of childhood, “kids being cruel.” Until, that is, the chickens come home to roost. The head-in-the-sand mentality too often employed by parents, school teachers and administrators, law enforcement officials, and others is what leads to tragedies like Columbine and equally heart-rending stories like those of Tyler Long and Ty Smalley, two teenagers who committed suicide rather than continue to endure bullying.


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