A Girl Like Her (2015)
Cast: Lexi Ainsworth, Hunter King, Jimmy Bennett
Director: Amy S. Weber
Synopsis:Jessica Burns enlists the help of her best friend, Brian, in order to document the relentless harassment she’s received from her former friend, Avery Keller, one of South Brookdale High School’s most popular students.
As a young girl still in high school, I witness bullying on a day to day basis in the form of nasty rumours, and verbal abuse. I am one of the lucky ones that have never seen any physical form of abuse be inflicted upon another. Furthermore, I consider myself lucky to only have experienced bullying in the form of petty rumours.
Bullying is a serious issue that is plaguing our school systems, in the past bullying was considered a taboo subject that was never spoken about in the open. I commend Amy Weber and similar directors who decide to showcase the public the effects that bullying has on an individual. What’s more I appreciate how this movie does not just focus on the victim but also the bully.
I find it interesting how many witness bullying but choose not to do anything to aid the victim. Students just choose to turn a blind eye whether it be fear of social judgement from peers, or becoming the bully’s new target. This is something that I did when I was starting out in high school, I chose to ignore the bullying in order to avoid social persecution. Now I know better and am willing to stand up for others who are being bullied. One simple act of kindness goes a long way, whether it be smiling at that person, asking them about their day, or sitting with them.
The mockumentary style of the film provides a gritty and real feel that is able to convey the emotions of everyone in this film. This movie is simply not black and white it is not victim = good, bully = bad. It has complex layers that cause the viewer to empathise with the bully, regarding the torment she faces at home from her family. It also speaks of the trouble she herself faces from societies expectations of her being the ‘perfect’ girl.
It further exhibits the pressure a friend feels in attempting to aid a friend out, when they are going through such a tough time. The friend is normally conflicted and wants nothing more than to ease the suffering of the victim. However, they cannot inform anyone generally due to the victim’s defiance towards help, because of fear of getting more abuse thrown at them.
Thus, this movie does not just touch on one part of the issue regarding bullying but speaks of the whole in full complexity.