The Boston Herald: ‘Bully’ film hits close to home

April 14th, 2012

The Boston Herald
By Tenley Woodman
April 14, 2012

Audience members fought back tears — and sometimes let them flow — at yesterday’s screening of “Bully” at AMC Loews Boston Common theater.

“I nearly cried,” said Brendan Prescod, of Dorchester, a sixth-grader at the Richard J. Murphy School. “The kids didn’t deserve what was being done to them.”

Prescod was among a group of high school teens, as well as a college student and a social worker, whom the Herald accompanied to the screening to gauge their reaction to the critically acclaimed documentary.

The students, who ranged in age from 12 to 21, were visibly moved by director Lee Hirsch’s unflinching take on school-age torment.

Hirsch tracked five children and their families as they grappled with the sometimes tragic consequences of bullying. Two of the families profiled lost their child to suicide.

Mishaliz Melo, 13, of Roslindale, an eighth-grader at St. Patrick’s School, expressed shock at the behavior captured onscreen. “Bully” shows kids being physically and verbally brutalized, including incidents of choking, punching and name-calling.

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