“Bully,” a documentary film by Lee Hirsch, will play this week at the Chief Plaza Theater after Advocates building Peaceful Communities expressed an interest in getting the film to Steamboat Springs. The PG-13 film follow five students and their struggle against bullying in schools.

The Weinstein Co./Courtesy

“Bully,” a documentary film by Lee Hirsch, will play this week at the Chief Plaza Theater after Advocates building Peaceful Communities expressed an interest in getting the film to Steamboat Springs. The PG-13 film follow five students and their struggle against bullying in schools.

‘Bully’ documentary comes to Steamboat movie theater

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“Bully” is playing at the Chief Plaza Theater through Thursday at 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. weekdays and at 12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Visit www.thebullyproject.com for more information about the film.

The issue of bullying isn’t a new one, but it’s a growing community concern as the digital age transforms opportunities for children to hurt one another both physically and emotionally.

Bullying also is the subject of a much-publicized documentary called “Bully,” which will open in Steamboat Springs today. The film will play at the Chief Plaza Theater through May 17.

“We would really encourage parents to go with their kids and as a follow-up to be able to talk about these issues about what might be going on in the schools,” said Diane Moore, executive director of Advocates Building Peaceful Communities.

It was Advocates, a nonprofit that provides services for victims of domestic and sexual violence, that began searching for a way to bring the movie to Steamboat several weeks ago.

The film was released about a month ago in U.S. theaters after premiering at film festivals worldwide in 2011.

Directed by Lee Hirsch, the documentary follows the stories of five students who experience bullying on a regular basis.

The movie now is rated PG-13 after a brief controversy surrounding its initial R rating because of foul language. The MPAA lowered the rating to PG-13 after curse words were removed from some scenes.

Moore said she would recommend the movie for middle school ages and older.

Leah Helme, Chief Plaza Theater manager, said she recently saw the film for the first time.

“It was definitely a lot to take in,” she said. “I cried a lot. But I think this can bring this whole awareness to the bullying issue.

“I wouldn’t think anyone would be excluded from bullying. In the film, it’s kids who are outcasts, it’s kids who have friends. No one is exempt from being bullied.”

Although she had been told originally that the film wouldn’t be coming to Steamboat because of its limited release, Helme told the theater’s broker that there was a local interest.

Helme said while the film is a little heavy, she thinks students should connect with it.

“It should be watched, but it should be discussed,” she said.

Moore said she has reached out to local schools about possible field trips, viewings, discussion forums and other options for the film, which she hopes will jumpstart a community dialogue on the issue.

“We’re hearing more and more that texting is being used especially by girls,” she said. “These issues we know are here and we have a commitment and interest in supporting youth and families.

“I often have people say, ‘What’s the big deal, bullying has been around forever.’ But with the social media kinds of things — the texting, the Facebook — in that regard, it is worse.”

Bully

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