After winning a number of audience and jury awards across the film festival circuit, The Weinstein Company is getting ready to release Lee Hirsch’s documentary Bully (previously titled The Bully Project) into limited theatres on March 30th. The film tackles the increasingly problematic issue of bullying in American schools and also follows multiple parents whose children have committed suicide as a result of bullying.
Unfortunately for The Weinstein Company, they have already run into some problems, thanks to the MPAA. The American trade association has given the film an ‘R’ rating because of “some language”, meaning those who would benefit most from the documentary – kids and teenagers – will be unable to see it. Considering how important the issue has become, and the need for active education, this is a baffling decision that fails to take the film’s benefits into consideration.
I cannot attest to the film’s quality, but after receiving the trailer today – combined with the number of awards it has picked up – it is very easy to see its artistic and educational merit. Unsurprisingly, The Weinstein Company plans to appeal the rating and will bring one of the victims in the film, Alex Libby, to that meeting. Watch the trailer below and let us know what you think of the ‘R’ rating by the MPAA.
Watch the trailer for Lee Hirsch’s Bully (previously titled The Bully Project):
Bully follows five kids and families over the course of a school year. Stories include two families who have lost children to suicide and a mother awaiting the fate of her 14-year-old daughter who has been incarcerated after bringing a gun on her school bus. With an intimate glimpse into homes, classrooms, cafeterias and principals’ offices, the film offers insight into the often cruel world of the lives of bullied children. As teachers, administrators, kids and parents struggle to find answers, Bully examines the dire consequences of bullying through the testimony of strong and courageous youth. Through the power of their stories, the film aims to be a catalyst for change in the way we deal with bullying as parents, teachers, children and society as a whole.