This year, over 5 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. The Bully Project 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. The Bully Project opens on the first day of school. For the more than 5 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.
The Bully Project opens in select theaters on Friday. I had hoped it would be opening in Indianapolis, but I don’t see it playing here yet. The movie was rated “R” because of the language, but the producers objected to that rating – it would mean that kids, who are the target audience, would not be able to see it. They tried to fight that rating, and ultimately rejected any rating, choosing to release it without a rating rather than accept it. Movie chain AMC has agreed to open the movie to minors.