Vital, tragic, brutal look at rise of youth suicide.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bullied is a documentary about the rise of bullying behavior and child and teen suicide rates over the last decade. The film shines a brutal but necessary light on the tragic impacts and effects bullying behavior can have on kids, teens, parents, families, teachers, and communities. The film immediately shows many different videos of child and teen violence, beatings, and abuse. In all of the heartbreaking footage, kids from 8-18, girls and boys, viciously beat, hit, punch, kick, stomp, slap, throw, harass, and yell horrible things at their victims. The documentary features many victims of bullying behavior and suicide, and their stories get to be importantly but agonizingly told. There are talking heads, academics, culture theorists, and educators who also contribute, along with loads of depressing statistics about the rise and ascendancy of bullying behavior over the last decade and especially over the last 4 years. Brutal descriptions of child and teen suicide, harassment and abuse, and the inescapable worlds of suffering victims endure these days because now with social media and the constant use of cellphones, laptops, tablets, and other online-enabled devices, bullying is 24/7 and no longer occurs only at school. Strong language throughout includes, "f--k," "f--king," "c--t," "s--t," "p---y," "f--got," "bitch," "ass," and "hell."
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What's the Story?
In BULLIED, parents and kids who have suffered from bullying behavior and its too often tragic outcomes tell their stories. Statistics, facts, and data accompany academics, theorists, and researchers in discussing the causes, current inflammations, and effects of bullying behavior and bullying culture.
Is It Any Good?
This documentary is absolutely heartbreaking, brutal, and tragic but also very necessary and every parent, caregiver, teen, teacher, and educator should try to get through it, period. Bullied is at once stunning, shocking, depressing, anxiety-generating, and infuriating. Expect lots of terribly sad stories of innocent kids and teens suffering from horrible bullying behavior that often includes incredible violence. Thankfully, this what-should-be-public-service-announcement is just about palatable enough at a smidge over an hour runtime. The degree of pathos (effective argumentation through emotion and stories) is incredibly high. While not exactly enjoyable, the documentary is packed with so much data, statistics, and helpful information that they become welcome pauses between painful human story after painful human story.
Some viewers will disagree with the film's position that former U.S. President Donald Trump greatly encouraged today's "bullying culture," but the film makes a strong case by using clips of Trump. Either way, it would have simply been too depressing an experience if Bullied did not end on a positive, hopeful note. Highlighting the Cleveland, Ohio school district and how they initiated "Social Emotional Learning" programs over a decade ago, the film provides an example of success, positive outcomes, and a potential future where kids and teens don't have to suffer.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about bullying behavior and bullying culture. Does Bullied do a good job of presenting the problems, causes, and effects of bullying behavior? What else could the film have done to better establish the stakes of successfully combating bullying behavior and culture?
Discuss child and teen suicide and the ways this documentary presents them. How does the film encourage better understanding, support, and resources for those at risk? What could the film have done more of? What about less of?
Do you think the film was successful in discussing concepts like "bullying culture" and "minority stress"? How so?
- On DVD or streaming: February 12, 2021
- Cast: Ron Avi Astor, Jennifer Davis, Kimya Dennis
- Director: Thomas Keith
- Studio: Tubitv
- Genre: Documentary
- Topics: Activism
- Character Strengths: Compassion, Empathy, Integrity
- Run time: 67 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: December 7, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
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