Josie and Piper S/R for OthelloSummary: The film Bully directed by Lee Hirsch provides awareness to the issue of bullying. Hirsch shadows many bullied victims to give the viewer a walk in the shoes children and teens who are bullied every day varying from the cellphone to the school bus. The movie compares a handful of bully victims out of many to prove how bullying can lead to many harmful acts on oneself and on the peers around them. Clearly, Hirsch acknowledges and illustrates how bullying can affect one's life and destroy relationships with friends, family, and even strangers.
The film Bully directed by Lee Hirsch correctly portrays how bullying can rule people's choices and lives and affect relationships with family, friends and even strangers. It can break emotions down until feeling nothing at all, and leave the result of bullying usually ends up with feeling unwanted and self hatred. In the movie Bully, the director showed the life of the victims of bullying. Following different types of teenagers in different types of towns being picked on for what they look like, who they love, and where they come from. An example of this bullying is Alex Libby talking to the team working on the film. He says, “People call me fish face and punch me, choke me, and hit me on the bus. They have pushed me so far where I don’t think I feel anything anymore” (Hirsch). Hirsch proves that Alex’s emotions have broken, and that because his emotions have been broken he does not feel anything anymore. He doesn’t ever feel happy or excited. He doesn’t feel anger or the want to fight back against the bullies. They have affected him so much that he can’t even stand up for himself anymore. However, Hirsch does compare many other different types of people being bullied and they have different reactions to the bullies. A young teenage girl named Kelby announced that she was lesbian in a small Christian town. She grew up knowing that loving the same gender is a sin and because of that she started to get bullied from people believing she was doing the wrong thing. “Even though they pick on me, they separate me from the rest of the kids, and they are ashamed of me, I know that I am still loved by my family and my 4’10 girlfriend.” (Kelby Johnson, Hirsch). Hirsch proves by Kelby’s story that even when bullies strike support can be found, Kelby places her hope in her friends and family and can still feel loved. In this case Kelby still feels love for her girlfriend and finds happiness with her friends. Even in situations of bullying, victims can still return from the dark and empty place and fight to find happiness in life.
Many think that help is easy to come by when being bullied, or that friends are always there to help. This point seems reasonable for the average person who has a healthy family life, and a load of friends to talk to. But bullying is more complicated than that, victims of bullying are pushed to a point in which they can’t feel anything anymore. Some don’t stick up for themselves and the ones that do often get picked on worse. Not to mention, many bullied children don’t have many friends to turn to, or even a family that understands the kind of pain that they are going through.
Hirsch shows that when under the influence of peers’ words, comments, and others opinions can influence and push people to do unthinkable actions. Victims of bullying are not only emotionally damaged but can harm themselves and others physically. In circumstances of severe bullying, children and teens have been driven to a point where even death sounds better than facing the harmful comments and rejection of their peers. Kelby, one of HIrsch’s bullying victims, recounts, “I’ve cut, and even tried to commit suicide three times” (Hirsch). Often in cases of bullying we hear the encouraging phrase, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’. Kelby’s quote shows the opposite, in reality words can hurt more than physical abuse. Lee Hirsch tells the audience that the words of fellow students can push people to do acts that are otherwise unimaginable. However, even in cases of severe bullying people have found ways to stay strong. Many stories of bullied children are usually about sadness, hopelessness and even death. Look closer and hope can be found in situations where victims of bullying have made themselves even stronger than before. They have taken bullying as a blessing in disguise and made themselves the better person through hard work and positivity. Alex Libby finds comfort in his family on said to Hirsch, “Sometimes sweetness and love is all you need” (Hirsch). Alex, who was targeted for both verbal and physical abuse found love and hope in his family. Even when he thought he couldn’t feel anything anymore, he remained positive and seeked support though his family.
Many think that hope can always be found in bullying, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”. I understand why many people believe that words are harmless and pain is only physical. While this point seems reasonable, there is a deeper understanding that some have not met. Bullies do hurt, and it may not be noticeable, or something that is easily recognised but when victims are bullied, they reach a point that sometimes there is no return from. Verbal abuse does hurt. When emotional pain becomes too great some turn to cutting, starvation, and at a certain point death sounds better than the words from the bullies mouths.
In conclusion, Hirsch is shows through film that bullying breaks people down after they have built themselves up and leads people to think differently about themselves.Through this film Hirsch encourages children, teens, adults, and teachers, to stand up to the bullies and show them that we matter.
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