Santa Monica Lookout
“Bully” to Be Screened at Santa Monica Library
By Lookout Staff
March 8, 2013 -- For film director Lee Hirsch, making his acclaimed documentary “Bully” -- an unflinching look at the abuse suffered by school kids at the hands of bullies -- was a cathartic experience.
"I felt that the hardest part of being bullied was communicating, and getting help,” Hirsch, whose 2011 film will be screened at the Santa Monica Main Library this month, told an interviewer.
“I couldn’t enroll people’s support,” he told a Jewish website in Minneapolis. “People would say things like 'get over it,' even my own father and mother. They weren't with me. That was a big part of my wanting to make the film. It's cathartic on a daily basis."
Viewers can share in the cathartic experience when “Bully” is screened at 2 p.m. March 16, in the Main Library’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium. Following the screening teen filmgoers are invited to take part in an intergenerational discussion of the film and its subject matter with the Older Adult Task Force.
“The film takes us behind the scenes, into the lives of several bullied kids in Middle America, and asks what we can do to stop this epidemic of psychological and physical violence,” library officials said.
This special event screening and discussion of “Bully” is tied to the city’s eleventh annual community reading program, which encourages residents to read and discuss the same novel.
This year’s featured book -- the critically-acclaimed novel Wonder by R.J. Palacio -- “touches on the theme of bullying and advocates kindness and compassion in our treatment of others,” library officials said.
Wonder tells the story of August Pullman, a 10-year-old boy born with a facial deformity that required so many surgeries he was home schooled until he entered the fifth grade and has to cope with his classmates’ reactions.
UCLA Psychology Professor Jaana Juvonen has found that fighting bullying in school is no easy task, since bullies are highly popular not only among students but also among teachers. (“Bullying is Topic of Santa Monica Lecture,” February 13, 2013)
The screening is free and open to all ages. Seating is first come, first served.
For more information on Santa Monica Reads 2013, visit: http://smpl.org/Wonder2013.aspx.
The Santa Monica Public Library, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard, is wheelchair accessible. For special disabled services, call Library Administration at (310) 458-8606 at least one week prior to event. The Main Library is served by Big Blue Bus routes 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Ride your bike. Bicycle parking racks are available at the library.
For more information on Santa Monica Public Library programs, visit smpl.org or contact the Santa Monica Public Library at (310) 458-8600.
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