Screening of BULLY

Today Antoniette Costa and I went to a special screening of the documentary “Bully“, hosted by Kelly Ripa and Anderson Cooper and backed by Harvey Weinstein amongst other institutions. Bully is directed by Lee Hirsch, and follows a group of Americans, who have had to deal with bullying one way or another. Whether they were bullied themselves,  or they have a child that suffers bullying. In some cases they even lost a child by suicide because of being bullied. This documentary shows an intriguing and emotional story of each individual and how they dealt with the concept of being targeted by others in their own way. Unfortunately as mentioned before, some of the victims are not with us anymore. They took their own life as they could not take any more bullying…… So sad. But some actually stood up and fought back.

Bully project poster

As I was bullied in Elementary School I was particularly interested in the subject of this film. (yes, maybe you don’t believe it, but I was majorly bullied in school!) Just like one of the main characters Alex, I did not understand really why I was being picked on. Later I realized it might have been the fact that I was trying to be a perfect student, and I was one of the favorites of the teacher. But kids in school are sometimes so mean, jealous, unhappy that they need to get it out on somebody, and the weakest kids are an easy target. Alex, probably the most central character in this movie, seems to be a really sweet, nice boy, with no bad bone in his body.  You see him taking care of his siblings, doing his homework, trying to be a good boy. You see him endure bullying, and he does not how to deal with it, let alone stand up for himself. Nor do his parents, who obviously love him very much. He was their miracle baby as he was born prematurely. That also might be the reason he is a bit weaker and more behind other kids development. He is an easy target. I am happy he was the focus in this film as he has probably been saved because his situation has been uncovered by the filmmakers and therefore could be handled correctly. (which it seems was difficult in the beginning because as the filming showed: school principals seem to not know how to handle bullying at all).

Alex from the Bully Project
"Alex"

A few scenes were so sad that I was crying a lot. I left the theater totally emotional. Even when I don’t have kids yet, I kind of felt how you feel as parents when it happens to your child. I can only imagine how I feel if I indeed have children. It is your worst nightmare.

As I experienced it, I know that bullying is usually very layered, is done secretly to people and in all different ways. Sometimes it is hard to detect. For the people who suffer it is something they go through 24 hours a day. Since we have social media these days, it is not just at school or after school. Kids get bullied over the internet, or over the phone. With words, or physical: There is not just one kind of bullying.

Most important is that the word is out now. Bullying needs to be stopped. How? By the victims speaking up, by others reaching out to people who they might think are being picked on and standing up for them. For having institutions and places where victims can get help. And have prevention care. Parents should teach there children about how to treat other kids. And schools should not tolerate ANY sign of bullying.

Before seeing the movie, I would tell you to read the Q & A with Lee Hirsch, that you find here. It shows how long he filmed for (2 years) and how deep he got into each of the characters life story. I think it is amazing and he and his Producer Cynthia did a  very in depth research before coming out with BULLY.

See the trailer here:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1g9RV9OKhg[/youtube]

I wonder what you think. Let me know your thoughts after you see the movie.

One last thing: If you ever are bullied, physically and emotionally, just remember:

IT WILL GET BETTER ONE DAY.

Reach out to people around you until you find the one who will help you. And if I am an example: Bullying did not stop me from being successful.

To the girls and boys who hurt me in school: See me now? EAT YOUR HEART OUT! ;-)

Love, Lonneke

www.thebullyproject.com

p.s. Talking about eating: After the screening we got delicious Cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes. Delicious. The motto was “After this movie you need something sweet to eat”.  I ate my red velvet straight away. It was so good. Let all the endings of the featured characters be so sweet.

Bully Cupcake

Lonneke Bully Cupcake
The movie moved me and made me think what we can do to stop bullying...

Bully Cupcake