Bully documentary screens free tonight: "You can't be apathetic to the issue after you see it"
Two days after the Minnesota House passed a broad anti-bullying bill, a group of local lawyers, advocates, teachers, and other figures have teamed up to present the acclaimed 2011 documentary Bully for free at the Riverview Theater, and to open up a dialogue about bullying in the community.
"When I first saw the film, I bawled," explains Tracy Reid, whose law firm, Cooper and Reid, organized the event. "It's dually inspiring. As you grieve about it, I think it changes you, because you can't be apathetic to the issue after you see it."
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Twenty-seven sponsors, including the Hennepin County Bar Association and Hazelden, agree with her. They've all signed on in support of the movie, and will be bringing together students, people with disabilities, families, GLBTQ teen groups, and advocates to see the film and discuss the issues it raises.
Movie-goers will get bags with information about resources, and giveaways like magnets and bracelets. Following the screening, OutFront Minnesota will give a presentation on safe schools, and a panel of therapists will discuss how to deal with the emotions brought out by the film, what people should do if they're bullied, and how people should respond if they hear about bullying. At 9 p.m., those who want to continue the conversation will move across the street to the Riverview Cafe.
"I want this to be a catalyst for change," says Paris Gatlin, who oversees services, including bullying resources, at Arc Greater Twin Cities, which is one of the night's sponsors. "I want people to walk away knowing that there's help, and they can get it, and they know where to go."
"I hope everyone leaves committed to the issue," Reid says. "The only effective way to deal with bullying without trauma is to prevent it from happening. If you ever got bullied, you remember it. You can see it in your head."
"In my perfect world," she continues, "bullying is the worst thing that you can do."
Here's the film's trailer:
IF YOU GO:
7 p.m. Wednesday, May 8
3800 42nd Ave. S., Minneapolis
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