Bully (2011) Poster

Bully (2011)

  • Rate: 6.4/10 total 323 votes 
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Filming Location: Georgia, USA
  • Budget: $1,100,000(estimated)
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Bully (2011)


Bully 2011tt1682181.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Bully (2011)
  • Rate: 6.4/10 total 323 votes 
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Filming Location: Georgia, USA
  • Budget: $1,100,000(estimated)
  • Director: Lee Hirsch
  • Stars: Alex, Ja'Maya and Kelby
  • Original Music By: Michael Furjanic  Justin Rice  Christian Rudder   
  • Sound Mix: Dolby | Dolby Digital | DTS
  • Plot Keyword: School | Bullying | Bully | Revenge | Controversy

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Lee Hirsch 
  • Cynthia Lowen 

Known Trivia

  • Anderson Cooper is a strong advocate of this documentary and the movement against bullying that it has stimulated. It was featured on Anderson Cooper 360° in October 2011, at the “Bullying: It Stops Here” town hall program special. Kelly Ripa, Rosalind Wiseman and Phil McGraw also shared their reactions to and support of the movie.
  • Bully was originally rated R for language. The Weinstein Company appealed for a lower rating, as the R rating would exclude the very audience that is was intended for – high-school teens. The MPAA refused to alter the rating, so the distributor surrendered the original rating and opted for their film to be released ‘Unrated’ to the theaters.

Plot: A documentary on peer-to-peer bullying in schools across America. Full summary » |  »

Story: This year, over 13 million American kids will be bullied at school, online, on the bus, at home, through their cell phones and on the streets of their towns, making it the most common form of violence young people in this country experience. BULLY is the first feature documentary film to show how we've all been affected by bullying, whether we've been victims, perpetrators or stood silent witness. The world we inhabit as adults begins on the playground. BULLY opens on the first day of school. For the more than 13 million kids who'll be bullied this year in the United States, it's a day filled with more anxiety and foreboding than excitement. As the sun rises and school busses across the country overflow with backpacks, brass instruments and the rambunctious sounds of raging hormones, this is a ride into the unknown. For a lot of kids, the only thing that's certain is that this year…Written by Lowen, Cynthia; Hirsch, Lee  

FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Lee Hirsch known as producer
  • Cynthia Lowen known as producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Alex known as Himself
  • Ja'Maya known as Herself
  • Kelby known as Herself
  • David Long known as Himself
  • Tina Long known as Herself
  • Kirk Smalley known as Himself




Production Companies:

  • Bully Project, The
  • Where We Live Films

Other Companies:

  • BeCause Foundation  in association with
  • Cinereach  funding
  • Dolby Laboratories  sound mix
  • Fledgling Fund, The  funding
  • Gravity Films  funding
  • Sundance Institute Documentary Fund  funding

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  • Alliance Films (2012) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Ascot Elite Entertainment Group (2011) (Switzerland) (all media)
  • Tanweer Films (2011) (India) (all media)
  • Weinstein Company, The (2011) (USA) (all media)



Other Stuff

Release Date:
  • USA 23 April 2011 (Tribeca Film Festival)
  • Canada 4 May 2011 (Hot Docs International Documentary Festival)
  • USA 17 June 2011 (Provincetown International Film Festival)
  • USA 19 June 2011 (Los Angeles Film Festival)
  • Italy 7 July 2011 (Ischia Film Festival)
  • USA 20 September 2011 (Twin Cities Film Festival)
  • Switzerland 24 September 2011 (Zurich Film Festival)
  • USA October 2011 (Austin Film Festival)
  • USA 2 October 2011 (San Diego Film Festival)
  • USA 11 October 2011 (Chicago International Film Festival)
  • USA 13 October 2011 (Hamptons International Film Festival)
  • Canada 2 March 2012 (Toronto Human Rights Watch Film Festival)
  • USA 30 March 2012 (Los Angeles, California)
  • USA 30 March 2012 (New York City, New York)
  • Canada 6 April 2012 (limited)



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on April 1, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , .


  1. sloppyjoe911 from United States
    01 Apr 2012, 10:45 am

    We saw this at the LA Film festival (we are big festival goers) andreally enjoyed it. In fact, I was surprised there weren't a lot ofreviewers here. There was a packed crowd where I saw it. It's sad thatwe really don't address the problem of bullying until the newmillennium but folks should see this or at least show it in schools. Wehear from parents whose kid committed suicide as a result of bullyingand other kids who were bullied and how little is done about thisproblem. In this day and age when everyone gets a trophy and everyoneis seemingly pampered, how can kids still have this happen to them? Awell done film with a some brave kids.

  2. Markus Emilio Robinson
    01 Apr 2012, 10:45 am

    Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland

    Ever since the Weinstein Company has been petitioning the MPAA toassign "Bully" a "PG-13" rating instead of the dreaded "R", there hasbeen controversy surrounding its distribution. There have since beenreports that the Weinstein Company plans to release this documentary as"Unrated" to get around the MPAA stranglehold, which may doom it to thedreaded "limited release" realm of no return and rarely seen. So whatis the deal? Why was (until quite recently) "Bully" pulling an "R"rating? Does "Bully" advocate bullying? No. Does it use language thatyour twelve year son/daughter/sister/brother doesn't hear at schoolevery day of his/her life? And (the one that terrifies the MPAA themost) is there any nudity? NOOOOOO. The biggest controversy of thisfilm, and the main idiotic reason that this film pulled an "R" ratingfor the longest time, is the fact that audiences will actually seemiddle school and high school kids visibly getting shoved around,punched, and called awful names. And while the images here will bedisturbing to parents and teens alike, they need to be seen by ademographic that is actually living through the controversial themesthe movie brings up. The awful truth is that 13 million children arebullied every day. So, for the MPAA to have slapped it with an "R"rating is simply irresponsible. "Bully" is a cut and dry example ofsubject matter superseding the MPAA's fundamentally rigid beliefs ofcounting the number of F-bombs in a movie.

    Now, here is my review of "Bully":

    Like a real time therapy session for anybody who has ever been bulliedin school, "The Bully Project" or "Bully" as it has been retitled, maynot only be responsible for stirring up more pre-release controversythan any documentary in recent history, but also be one of thetimeliest documentaries ever released. What director Lee Hirsch triesto do here, is give audiences and inside look at bullying in today'spublic schools by actually documenting a few victimized teens (rangingin ages from 12 to 16) as they are in the midst of day to day socialbullying. The film begins with the story of a boy named Tyler, whokilled himself as a direct result of being constantly ridiculed andphysically abused from his peers at school. Hirsch films Tyler'sparents as they discuss the dire epidemic that is school bullyingtoday, and then we get to see bullying through the eyes of a child in aheartbreaking reality, as Hirsh introduces audiences to Alex, age 12.Alex is an undersized boy who is subjected to constant ridicule andscorn from his peers. And I'm not just talking about older kids atschool calling him names. Hirsch follows Alex as he is seen getting hislunch stolen, physically hit in the back of the head, shoved to theground and in one case stabbed with a pencil on the bus (as the busdriver does nothing). The tragic mental and physical abuse this childgoes through will reduce many audience members to tearsinstantaneously. For others, the emotional damage this young man goesthrough on screen will be nothing less than anger inducing. If you hadforgotten how bad it was being a teenager when you went to school, Alexwill serve as a not so subtle reminder of how brutal some kids have it.And what's worse is Hirsch's depiction of how out of touch the adultsare with their children, in conjunction with how seemingly unflinchingschool administrators act when confronted about bullying in their ownschools.

    Final Thought: Unfortunately at times the subject matter of "Bully" isbetter than the film itself, even though Hirsch does daring work. WhatI mean by that is, that for how hard hitting his subject matter was,the filmmaking (or how the film was put together) could have beenbetter if it would have included every aspect of bullying. In many waysthis film only scratches the surface. In saying that, the film doesmore than serve its purpose. This isn't just a movie about thestruggles of fitting in. This is an uncensored look into a bullyingepidemic that up until a few years ago had been mostly swept under therug of American society. So, even though it is doubtful that "Bully"will be the most well made documentary I see all year, it will mostdefinitely be the most important; and one not only every child shouldsee, but entire families should see together.

    Please visit my page on Examiner.comhttp://www.examiner.com/x-52464-San-Jose-Indie-Movie-Examiner and leaveany comments you have about this or any review.

    Follow me on Twitter @moviesmarkus

  3. F Herrick from New York City
    01 Apr 2012, 10:45 am

    The MPAA made the right decision when it assigned this film a rating ofR. Bully not a movie appropriate for children.

    It's a movie about adults who put children's lives in danger.

    The filmmakers tell the stories of four young teenagers who have becomethe targets of school bullying. Throughout the film we feel a sense ofempathy with these four children, all of whom are in difficultsituations.

    But the real story is about the adults.

    Throughout the film, parents, school administrators, law enforcementofficers, court personnel, and even the school bus driver all encounterchildren being bullied. Each adult reacts in a slightly different way.Unfortunately, none of their reactions seem particularly helpful oreffective.

    I wouldn't recommend this movie to anyone who has been bullied, as thefilm could easily hit a raw nerve. Neither would I recommend Bully toearnest parents searching for solutions to the bullying problems intheir communities, as he film offers no proper solutions.

    Bully should, however, be required viewing for school administrators,as it presents a textbook example of a terrible administrator. KimLockwood, the assistant principal of East Middle School of Sioux City,Iowa, makes herself the unwitting villain in this tale. The viewercomes away from the film with a sense that Ms. Lockwood is a danger tothe children around her. Lockwood's school has a bullying problem, andshe's so clueless about the lives of the children that she interrogatesand berates the hapless victims of the bullying. She only shows skillwhen she is whitewashing the problem after parents complain. Lockwoodcomes across as cold, uncaring, calculating, and self-serving. And hervictims are children, the very children at the school where she she isemployed.

    Bully is a disturbing film. But bullying in America is a disturbingproblem. As adults, do we have appropriate solutions? No. Will moreawareness help? Maybe. But is this film hopeful or helpful? Not really.

  4. VillageVoiceNY from United States
    01 Apr 2012, 10:45 am

    Arriving in theaters on a wave of free publicity—its distributor, theWeinstein Company, butted heads with the MPAA over the R rating; aPG-13-supportive online petition followed—Lee Hirsch's Bully issomething of an outlier among awareness docs: It has a clear and calmapproach to storytelling and some interest in the quality of itshand-held images. Weaving together five far-flung year-in-the-lifeaccounts, Bully affectingly lays out its worst-case scenarios. Subjectsinclude a middle schooler from Sioux City, Iowa, who's harassedmercilessly on the…

    Read the full review here:http://www.villagevoice.com/2012-03-28/film/bully-film-review/

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