As the documentary “Bully” opens this weekend in theaters, parents across the country are wrestling over the question of whether a PG-13 film is inappropriate for their kids or whether the movie’s message overrides that fact.
The film follows terrorized children, such as Alex Hopkins, a middle-schooler in Iowa who is called “Fish Face” and bullied physically and psychologically on a constant basis, according to the Boston Herald. Some parents may feel that the movie will show their kids that they are not alone and it’s OK to speak up, but others could be put off by the adult themes and the fact that two of the kids featured in the film committed suicide, writes Eilene Zimmerman of the Christian Science Monitor.
Zimmerman said that while she was “worried the movie will be too intense for me,” she decided to let her son see it because it would help him understand what bullied people go through.
However, some criticize the movie for not going far enough. A reviewer for the Hannibal Courier Post says that while some scenes in the movie are compelling, the director makes no attempt to explore the bully’s side of the story in order to enlighten the audience on why bullying happens.
The film is rated PG-13 due to profanity, some violence and adult themes.
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