We are spared graphic violence and severe emotional distress in Bully
, but the impact is not muted by the decision to tone it down. The helplessness of the victims permeates every scene, so the documentary still carries a lot of weight. However, like other recent socially heavy nonfiction films (Waiting for “Superman
,” for one), the power of the message is stronger than the overall quality of the film. It fails in presenting a true course of action, although on the basis of opening lines of communication, Bully
could be a life-saving conversation starter. The film went through a serious round of ratings controversy, but it is now PG-13, meaning it can be seen by the audiences that need to see it most.