By Mikhail Chernyavsky

It will infuriate you. It will distress you. “Bully” will absolutely move you.

The film is a shocking eye-opener into the world of the bullied. It gives the audience a look into the lives of kids like 12-year-old Alex, whose life is a living nightmare. From the beginning of his story, we see Alex subjected to both mental and physical abuse with just about every interaction he has with other schoolchildren.

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Teachers, school bus drivers, and school officials seem to not care, or turn a blind eye to the bullying and claim it’s just “kids being kids.”

Parents, on the other hand, are unaware of the severity of the bullying, if they know it’s going on at all. Alex’s parents, like many others, don’t know how to address the issue. Repeatedly going to school officials to deal with the bullying, they just get the same response from the school, “We’ll take care of it.”

The film paints a very negative picture of school personnel. They are portrayed as uncaring and simply not understanding that the extent of the issue is more than just “boys being boys.”

In the case of Kelby, a homosexual teen living in the Bible belt, teachers are the bullies as well.

There is no doubt the film’s message tugs at every emotional fiber but its main focus on the small town cities fails to represent the rest of the country. Bullying is not isolated to the “simple American towns” the film represents.

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“Bully” does a fine job of bringing to light the issues surrounding bullying in America but by the end it raises more questions than it answers.

How do you know if your child is being bullied if he or she doesn’t communicate with you? What is an effective way of dealing with bullying as a parent, as a teacher, or as a fellow student?

Its triumph is bringing awareness but doesn’t offer any solutions of what can be done about bullying.

Perhaps, this is where parents should step in. This is an important film for parents to watch with their children. It can be that conversation starter for parents to discover if their child is being bullied or give a better understanding of how to approach a child that’s being bullied.

The film’s message overshadows any flaws that appear in “Bully.” It is an emotionally powerful film that brings to light an important issue that needs to be addressed and dealt with in the school system.

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The film is rated “PG-13” for language and some disturbing images.