Finding Kind

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Finding Kind Movie Poster Image
Tearful docu about bullying is intense but uplifting.
  • NR
  • 2011
  • 77 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Promotes kindness, empathy, compassion, accountability over meanness or bullying.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lauren and Molly are conscientious, activist-oriented young women who work diligently to raise awareness about bullying and girl-on-girl crime in a way that fosters participation and friendship.

Violence

Intense emotional content as girls tearfully confess stories of being bullied or bullying; some brief footage of girls fighting and punching each other. Discussions of suicide and depression.

Sex

A girl is described as having "grinded" on a guy and called a whore; a girl describes being told by her aunt that her own father wanted to sleep with her; girl recounts bullying another girl by saying they would sell her on eBay as the town's last virgin.

Language

"Black trash," "white trash," "bitch," "whore," "slut"; body-shaming insults such as "fat" and "ugly"; some clips of bleeped-out cursing from Real Housewives and other reality shows.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Casual smoking; a biker gang drinks, holds bottles of liquor to commemorate a friend's death.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Finding Kind is an emotionally intense but ultimately uplifting documentary, at time of review only available for educational screenings, about bullying among young girls that features some clips of girls fighting and punching, profanity ("slut," "whore," "bitch"), discussions of suicide, and tearful, sometimes disturbing confessions of bullying that detail the gossip, rumors, betrayals, and emotional warfare young girls often inflict upon each other, including girls as young as 10 who've been body-shamed. This is juxtaposed with a call to kindness from best friends Lauren and Molly, who travel the country speaking to girls about their own experiences being bullied and offering a road map out of the despair. Intense emotional scenes but with a strongly positive message.

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What's the story?

Best friends Lauren and Molly know what it's like to be bullied, so they decided to travel the country spreading the message about how kindness is the best prevention and remedy. Along the way they talk with teachers, psychologists, men, women, and girls about how girls treat each other, underlying causes, the devastating consequences, and possible solutions.

Is it any good?

FINDING KIND is a difficult watch, and yet overwhelmingly positive and hopeful. It can't answer all the questions about why girls torment each other and precisely what role the culture at large plays, but its focus on the universality of the experience and the astonishingly predictable toll it takes on young women's self-esteem allows a larger message to resonate: No matter the complexity of cause here, awareness, prevention, and accountability are likely the best antidote. 

That message of kindness is echoed again and again in often disturbing stories from tearful young girls and women reflecting on their worst bullying, each a testament to the way bullying's effects can linger for years and even decades. The upside is that sometimes a simple apology from a former tormenter goes a long way, as does learning that almost every woman has experienced both sides of the issue at some point. The film's mature content references some sexuality, suicide, depression, isolation, and enduring emotional stress. But in the end, it demonstrates how women can bond over their shared pain and think twice before perpetuating it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about bullying. Does Finding Kind portray bullying accurately? What is bullying like in your school? How do you deal with it?

  • Do you think the documentary showed the reasons why girls have particularly emotional conflicts? Were the interviews with men helpful, or did they end up perpetuating stereotypes? Why?

  • Do you agree with Finding Kind's message about how to stop girl-on-girl bullying? 

Movie details

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