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martes, 19 de septiembre de 2017

Bully (a Lee Hirsch's documentary)

Los protagonistas del documental "Bully" no tienen experiencia como actores, pero sí con lo que significa el verbo "to bully". Esa es la expresión en inglés para el acoso escolar, también conocido como "mobbing".

El multipremiado largometraje del cineasta Lee Hirsch se centra en las jóvenes víctimas de un brutal cerco por parte de sus compañeros, a veces con consecuencias mortales. Una dureza que no ha pasado desapercibida en la sociedad estadounidense.

"Me llaman 'Fishface' (cara de pez), pero me da igual", cuenta Alex, de 12 años, con la voz envalentonada. Sin embargo, las imágenes grabadas con cámara oculta en un autobús escolar en Iowa, en las que el niño de nariz achatada y boca prominente es torturado por sus compañeros, muestran una realidad bien distinta, dijo DPA.

También está la adolescente lesbiana Kelby, que desde que salió del armario es acosada e insultada por otros alumnos. Un video grabado con cámaras de vigilancia muestra a Ja'Meya, de 14 años, que tras soportar interminables burlas saca una pistola en el autobús escolar. Sólo quería intimidar a sus acosadores, cuenta esta joven negra en el reformatorio.

"Bully" arranca con los chistes del pequeño Tyler, que su padre filma con una videocámara en el estado de Georgia. A la edad de 17 años, el joven se ahorcó en la casa familiar. También Ty se quitó la vida a los 11 años. Tras el shock y el duelo, sus padres, en la rural Oklahoma, se convirtieron en activistas denunciantes de las consecuencias del acoso.

El documental ha hecho del "mobbing" un tema candente en Estados Unidos. El viernes, se mostró en la Casa Blanca, después de que el presidente Barack Obama apostara por dos proyectos de ley para la protección de los escolares ante la discriminación y el acoso en los colegios del país.

Según datos del gobierno, en Estados Unidos se calcula que un tercio de niños en edad escolar son víctimas de acoso por parte de sus compañeros. Eso supone unos 13 millones de víctimas, una cifra que también maneja "The Bully Project", una iniciativa de los promotores del documental que pretende combatir el problema en los colegios.

"Bully" dio que hablar ya desde semanas antes de su estreno, a finales de marzo. La asociación cinematográfica MPAA quería imponer unas estrictas restricciones de edad para ver el filme por su alto contenido en insultos y expresiones de violencia, de forma que los menores de 17 años sólo pudieran verla acompañados de un adulto.

Más de 500.000 personas, entre ellos estrellas de Hollywood como Meryl Streep o Johnny Depp, firmaron la petición de una escolar para que se redujera el tope de edad. Al final, los censores cedieron y el límite se estableció en 13 años.

El ídolo adolescente Justin Bieber recomendó "Bully" a sus fans de twitter, el modisto Tommy Hilfiger diseñó una camiseta, cuyas ventas irán a engrosar los fondos del proyecto. Recientemente, también Lady Gaga actuó en la universidad de Harvard, no como estrella del pop, sino como activista contra el acoso, a través de su fundación Born This Way.

Los casos de acoso saltan con frecuencia a las noticias, pero rara vez el cine ha retratado el problema de forma tan desconcertante y personal. Para su familia Alex, de 12 años, es un niño normal, pero ya desde camino al colegio comienzan las torturas. En el autobús, otros compañeros de colegio lo insultan y pegan llamándolo "cara de pez". Una cámara oculta grabó las amenazas y el acoso que soporta el indefenso y esquivo pre-adolescente.

La madre de Tyler cuenta cómo encontró el cadáver de su hijo, que se había ahorcado en un armario. Ahora, su antiguo dormitorio es la "central" de la familia para su campaña contra el "mobbing". En el documental se ve a escolares torturados, padres desconcertados y profesores torpes que intentan calmar con palabras en lugar de ofrecer una verdadera ayuda. En el documental sólo hablan los afectados. Expertos, estadísticas y propuestas de solución quedan al margen.

"Un documental tan gráfico como una película de terror y tan impactante como un drama digno de Oscar", señalaba un crítico de la revista "Time". Todos los padres, profesores y adolescentes de Estados Unidos deberían verlo, afirma "The New York Daily News". Por el momento no hay fecha de estreno en España ni Latinoamérica.


English:

This documentary is about five teenagers and the varieties of bullying or harassment that they went through. The film jumps back and forth between the teens to describe their lives. The film starts off by telling the story of Tyler Long and how he died. Tyler's father speaks to us about his son's social issues and how he knew early on that Tyler might become a victim of bullying. Mr. Long mentions that kids took his clothes when he showered, forcing him to leave naked. They shoved him into lockers and demoralized him vocally as well. These actions are said to have led Tyler to commit suicide in 2009 at the age of 17, when his mother found him hanging in his closet with a note on the bed.

Alex Libby, who was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, is twelve years old, and is interviewed about his family and how nervous he is to return to school, as he has issues making friends. The cameraman follows him to the bus stop and onto the bus, where the bullying begins and doesn’t stop. The boy sitting beside him on the bus is seen violently threatening him. At school, the camera captures instances of bullying that do not directly pertain to Alex, but do show the principal of the school noticing and simply saying the children should get along but doing little to put an end to it. A boy named Cody is pulled from class to discuss being bullied at lunch, but pulling him out of class was simply a move by the school to give the appearance of attempting to address the issue at hand.

Kelby Johnson is a young teenage girl who has come out to the town as a lesbian. She states that she is not welcome anywhere in the town, due to the town's religious and societal beliefs. Kelby states that as she was walking down the road a group of boys hit her with a minivan and did not slow down, knowing it was her. Kelby admits that she used to self-harm and has tried to commit suicide three times now. The family mentions that when Kelby's sexuality came out even the people they were close with stopped talking to them. During the school year, kids would harass, bully, and ignore her. She mentions that even the teachers would bully her and exclude her from events, like calling her as part of a separate roll call list. Her parents have offered to move several times, but Kelby refuses stating that, "If I leave, they win."

Next is Ja'Meya Jackson, a 14-year-old teenage girl who lives with her mother. She went to school in Yazoo County, Mississippi. Ja'Meya is an honor student and talented basketball player. The children harassed and picked on her for quite some time. Even so, Ja'Meya had plans to join the Navy in order to help her mother. She explains that one day she finally had enough and took her mother's gun to school in an attempt to intimidate her bullies into leaving her alone. It works and the bullies are terrified, but she was then tackled to the ground by another student and arrested by the police.

Tyler's parents used their son's death to focus on the issue of bullying at the schools in their town. They held a town meeting, trying to find a way to fix the problem and show the schools and the officers that it is a serious problem. The administrators felt that "kids will be kids" and the teachers shrugged it off, not really taking a stance on the problem even when they knew of bullying in the classroom. During the town meeting Tyler's family arranges for another child to speak up about bullying and how the teachers don't pay attention; his name is Devon and he used to be bullied in the past.

We are shown Ja'Meya again and told the charges against her will be dropped, if she accepts to be held in a psychiatric hospital for 3 months. After that she will be allowed to go home, unless a doctor states otherwise.

Ty Smalley is a younger child who was bullied relentlessly until he committed suicide at age 11. He had been bullied because of his height, as he was quite small at the time. The school officials claim that bullying wasn't a factor, even though his friend says otherwise. Trey Wallace, his best friend, claims that Ty was extremely sad the last time that he saw him; he said he was crying. They show pieces of Ty's funeral, including his parents, "tucking in their baby one last time." Trey is overcome with emotion and cries at Ty's casket. He later explains that he used to be a bully when he was in second grade, but as he got older he realized the harm and hurt he did to people. He mentions that when he tried to stand up for Ty, the latter would always tell him that, "they aren't worth it," or, "don’t be like them," getting Trey to back down.

We see Kelby rather happy talking about the rain with her current girlfriend. She claims she would not be here, or be able to go to school, without her friends and girlfriend. She refuses to let her bullies "win".

Alex is shown being bullied while on the bus. He has been stabbed, punched, and had his life threatened. He claims to not feel anything anymore. The filmmakers, worried about Alex's well-being, showed the footage to the administrators and his parents, and when his parents confronted the administrators, a handful of students are disciplined and punished through bus suspension. During the school's efforts, students are shown lying about what happened. Alex is told to tell someone if he is bullied again. Alex claims he won't because in 6th grade he told adults and nothing was done.

A few months later Ja'Meya arrives home with her mother. She is excited to be home again and states how different everything looks.

It is Alex's last day of school. Other students are shown being friendly towards him, signing T-shirts and laughing with him. Kelby's parents pulled her out of school because on her first day back, everyone moved their desks to be away from her, showing that nothing has changed. Tyler's family is later shown hosting rallies to gain awareness for the other children around the world who committed suicide due to bullying. Eventually they start an online group and meet others whose children met a similar fate. They start a memorial service called "Stand for the Silent" to help reach out to children and adults who are or have been victims of bullying and tackle the problem together.

Kelby, while also in attendance, stands for the support of the fallen children. Ty's parents set off groups of balloons to symbolize the lost lives throughout the country. They give out wristbands to help raise awareness for their cause. Ty's father stands before the crowd to give a speech, in which he states that he will forever fight against bullies everywhere because, "(his) son will be 11 years old forever."

Download here (Descargar documental con subtítulos en español): mega.nz