“Bully: will break your heart

For Lent this year, my resolution was to look into the face of every person I encountered who was begging. If I could, I gave that person something, greeted them and said “good morning” or “good afternoon.” And I intentionally thought: “This is some mother’s sweet baby.” It makes it so much easier to love that person when you think of them as innocent and vulnerable children who gave joy to their parents before life set in.

All I could think of when I was watching the documentary “Bully” was that each of these bullied kids is some mother’s sweet baby.


I went to see “Bully,” which was filmed in Georgia, Iowa, Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma during the 2009-2010 school year, thinking I would see a lot of physical violence and hear a lot of bad language. After all, the MPAA gave the film a controversial “R” rating because of “strong violence, sexual content, drug use and language – all involving teens.” The film’s distributor, The Weinstein Company, decided to release the film without a rating, leaving it up to theaters — hence, parents — to decide to screen it or not.

For the life of me, I don’t recall seeing or hearing any “sexual content, drug use or strong violence.” The few “f-words” came toward the beginning of the film, and then no more. Verbal threats from one bully were graphic and cruel, but explicit visuals? No. One teen girl is a lesbian; is this the “sexual content” to which the MPAA refers? We see her with her girlfriend and other friends, but they are just hanging out. Why the MPAA says there is “drug use” is beyond me; I did not see any.

For the rest of Sr. Rose’s review at the National Catholic Reporter click here