Rated 4.0

Bully: Director Lee Hirsch’s documentary faced a lot of controversy on the way to movie screens, but managed to get its PG-13 rating so kids can see it. That’s a good thing, because every kid needs to see this movie. It’s definitely one of those. Hirsch visits the families of children who have committed suicide due, in part, to the stresses of being bullied. He also follows some kids around, including Alex, a great kid who has trouble making friends and endures physical harassment on the school bus. From what I see here, not much has changed since I went to school and bullies made life hard on many. Hirsch wants to put the message out to kids that bullying is very much a crime that can scar people for life and, even worse, take lives. I’ve known a couple of people who didn’t make it to adulthood, the victims of classmate torture for most of their adolescent lives. I wish this film had been made 30 years ago.