Sunday, September 09, 2012

Bully and I Am Eleven

Continuing to construct my own movie festival, given that I missed MIFF whilst I was away in Toronto, I managed to see one that was listed for this year that I would definitely have seen, on the flight home!

Bully is a documentary which follows the plight of five children bullied at school, on the bus to and from school, and after school. It's harrowing, emotional, and everyone should see this.

Several children tell us about the taunts and acts they receive relentlessly at school. They tell us of how they suffer, and how they contemplate ways out, including wanting to die. One family tell us how their son did just that. Hung himself as a result of the pain he experienced from bullying. His best mate tells of the pain of watching his mate struggle, and then his loss.

The very real fact that kids are taking their own lives as a result of this treatment by other kids at school, and after school, is here to take in and process. The flight of parents to have schools do something about it is heartbreaking and devastating.

A powerful film.

Along with my recently returned status, I am unemployed, which means I am free after my classes on a Wednesday, which is bliss! No hurrying back to work. So, after spending some time in the library I hit Nova Cinema for a movie.

I Am Eleven is by a Melbourne documentarian, and a MIFF movie that I missed on my schedule last year.

The narrator starts the film by telling us about her life at the time she started making the film, which was after learning about the devastating tsunami in Asia, and the loss of her father. She tells us that she set off travelling for a year, and wanted to film some of the meetings with people she had. But then she wanted to capture people at the age she herself was most happiest, which was when she was 11.

Being 11, as she and many of her subjects state, is that middle ground between being a child and being teenager. That awkward time, but as each young person share their thoughts, it is clear that this is an age of innocence and naivety, and yet wisdom and humanity.

Children from France to India, Morocco to Bulgaria, America to Japan, Australia to Thailand share their thoughts on love, war, their experiences of bullying, family, and their hopes and dreams for the future. They share their status as students, workers, carers and kids.

Quite like the 7 Up series, Genevieve returns to film many of the children a couple of years later, to check in with their progress towards their dreams and goals.

This film is beautiful, leveling and a carrier of hope about the next generation!


  1. My friend made I am Eleven! She also made a documentary featuring me!
    I haven't seen the film yet but I need to see it.

    1. Ohhh, I was talking to someone else this week who said they knew her too! Melbourne is a small world after all!
      What's the doco with you in it?
      The words of the kids in this one is profound....I think you'd like it!

  2. That particular age , can be a very difficult time in a child's life.


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