For weeks, The Weinstein Company has engaged in a very public campaign to get the MPAA to overturn the R rating it slapped on Bully, a controversial documentary about kids behaving badly towards other kids. (The appeal was unsuccessful; the brothers Weinstein will release the doc as an unrated film instead.)
In the midst of all the drama, it’s easy to overlook something critical: Bully is an important, devastating movie that isn’t just about middle schoolers beating each other up. Five recently released clips from the film drive that point home — especially this one, which focuses on sweet 12-year-old Alex Libby.
In this video (third from the left in the EW video player below) Alex’s mom tries to get her son to see that the boys who torment him aren’t just joking around. But Alex is desperate to fit in — and even though he understands what she’s saying, he’s not willing to stand up to them. “If you say that these people aren’t my friends,” he tells Mrs. Libby, “then what friends do I have?” It’s a heartbreaking moment — one that shows the layers of nuance in Bully, and proves why the movie’s unrated nature shouldn’t keep it from being seen.
Watch the five just-released scenes and the film’s trailer below.