Wednesday, June 19, 2013 – 7:30pm
USA 2011. Director: Lee Hirsch
“Kids will be kids, boys will be boys. They’re just cruel at that age.” So says a Georgia state school administrator, speaking at a community forum organized by the parents of Tyler, a relentlessly bullied 17-year-old who took his own life. Platitudes such as these invoke the palpable anger that infuses Bully, a powerful and timely documentary by Sundance- and Emmy-Award-winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch.
The film follows three bullied kids over the course of a school year: Alex, a smart, gawky 12-year-old whose classmates call him Fishface (Hirsch’s camera horrifyingly captures the unremitting physical
and verbal abuse Alex endures on a daily basis); Kelby, 16 years old and a popular star athlete, until she came out as a lesbian; and Ja’Meya, 14, an honour student charged with 45 felony counts after
bringing a loaded handgun to school to face down her tormentors. We also hear from two sets of parents who faced the anguish of a child’s death by suicide. Touched by unaccountable loss, these parents are demanding accountability and trying to effect change. Bully is not only a film about the victims of schoolyard persecution, it is also a hopeful film about the emergence of a grassroots anti-bullying movement and the possibility of change. Colour, 35mm, 94 mins.
Post-screening discussion with Dr. Tyler Black, Medical Director of the CAPE Unit, an emergency psychiatric unit at B.C. Children’s Hospital. Dr. Black received his medical training at the
University of Alberta and completed his psychiatric specialization at the University of British Columbia in 2008. His areas of interest include cross-cultural psychiatry, video games and violence, and
Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.