Locally Filmed Documentary Bullied to Silence is Triumphantly, Defiantly Loud

Categories: Film and TV
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Produced by Arizona filmmakers, the new anti-bullying documentary Bullied to Silence features interviews with many local students.

Arizona filmmakers Susan Broude and Tami Pivnick set out with some heavy goals: to give a voice to bullied youth across the nation, to challenge everyone to treat others as they would like to be treated, and to empower people to help put a stop to verbal abuse and cyberbullying.

The resulting film, Bullied to Silence, doesn't just give a voice to the bullied, it gives a microphone, and turns it up to 11

The film's most profound challenge to a silence that can be devastating -- of lost lives and broken spirits -- is less direct than the spoken words, cited research, or statistics: It is the film's consistent, assertive, cacophony of sound.

The silence utilized so poetically in the Weinstein Company's controversial Bully here is cast aside, and never allowed to linger. 


Executive Music Producer Suzie Schomaker composed the film's score, which is intercut with swooshing sound effects that punctuate the wipes. But it is the cast of young people - composed so overwhelmingly of singers and musicians, like American Idol semi-finalist Brett Loewenstern and pop rock duo Michael and Marisa -- that best represents the empowering theme of sound over silence. 


"Our intention is to show that despite media coverage that idealizes suicide and relates it to bullying, we want to provide hope and a path for change by not just focusing on the tragedies but on the triumphs and opportunities that result in joining forces and creating positive action," says producer/writer Broude, via email. "To that end, we include the positive action taken by those in the film, which includes some who chose to write anti-bullying songs to spread the message to be the change."

In a media context in which shows like Glee have utilized the spectacle of song and dance -- and its correlating themes of finding your voice and singing out proudly as a kind of defiant act -- to deliver messages of hope and empowerment,  this use of music may in fact make the film much more effective in communicating its messages to arguably the most important audience: contemporary young people

Unlike the moving and slow Bully, with its more realist style showing minimal filmmaker intervention, Bullied to Silence has a rapid pace intermixed with narration, research, and statistics that today's new-media-addled youth will have no problem absorbing.

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Phoenix Art Museum

1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

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3 comments
Sedonasuzi
Sedonasuzi

Bullied to Silence was such a profound, moving film that a supportive group and myself will be hosting Bullying Awareness Week in Sedona next fall.  If you would like to join in on the planning, please contact me. Thank you!!!

D_scaduto
D_scaduto

This film was just amazing! Thank you for bringing so much awareness! Love all of the wonderful kids who were in this film and through their music, they are helping others to know that bullying needs to stop today! and Love Dalton's Statement " 
 "Hey bullies, look what I'm doin'," he says in his charming Boston accent, "I'm singin' the national anthem at Fenway Park. What are you doin'?"

Dead in 5 Heartbeats
Dead in 5 Heartbeats

How come new times doesnt do a story on the jeff santo film being made and filmed here in the valley at this moment called dead in 5 hearbeats?  read more about it by clicking here......www.deadin5heartbeats.com  its based on a best selling book by the same name written by local book author sonny barger.

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