This isn’t a review of Lee Hirsch’s hit documentary Bully. You can’t really make the standard reviewer’s judgment calls on a piece that isn’t so much a film as it is a well-shot, well-edited extended public service announcement, which, in a situation that is so ironic it’s meta, is being distributed and personally promoted with great enthusiasm by the most notorious bully in our industry, Harvey Weinstein.
Bullying is an extremely complex issue, to which the filmmakers attempt to lend a balanced viewpoint by showing the frustration and helplessness of school administrators and local officials in the various small towns the filmmakers visit in the American heartland. That bullying is an egregious national malady that must be stamped out is not in question. The broader issue is how you address a pattern of behavior that is so firmly ingrained in the broader traditional American culture that its perpetrators and victims are only now beginning to grasp how wrong it is.