‘Bully’ now showing in Richmond

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UPDATE: The movie “Bully” has opened in Richmond. The film is playing at the Westhampton Theater. Keep reading for a previous CBS 6 report on this movie. [Click here for showtimes]

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – A documentary film that’s rating has sparked controversy may make its way to Richmond.

“It goes into the harsh realities of what these kids are facing and what their families are facing,” said Katie Mardigian of Glen Allen.

Mardigian has three young daughters.  She wants them to know about a constant problem in schools across the nation: bullying.

“It’s happening.  If we try and wait until we feel comfortable approaching the issue with our kids, it’s going to be too late.”

That’s why through blogs like RichmondMom.com, Mardigian is trying to bring the documentary film “Bully” to Richmond.

“What this film is going to show is not going to be something that we’re not going to see is communities across the country.”

Controversy sparked over the film when the Motion Pictures Association of America gave it an “R” rating because of brief vulgar language, meaning kids under the age of 17 can not go to the film without their parents.

The Weinstein Company has decided to release the film as unrated.

The filmmakers refuse to edit out the language because they feel doing so takes away from the realities of bullying that the film captures.

“A lot of people are calling the MPAA ‘bullies’ for doing it. I wouldn’t say that because it kind of dilutes the message, which is this issue is about children,” said Mardigian.

“Bullying has really serious impacts on kid’s physical health, emotional healthy, mental well-being and their academic performance,” said Vinu Ilakkuvan, the Bullying and Youth Violence Coordinator for the Virginia Department of Health.

“It is absolutely helpful to have vehicles to discuss the problem.  As long as we’re making sure that we’re really talking about solutions and really referencing the research in terms of what works and doesn’t work in terms of prevention,” said Illakuvan.

Katie Mardigian believes bringing the film here could be just that.

“I hope it will spark some change.”

If your child or someone they know is experiencing bullying and needs help, Illakuvan says that resources are out there.

For information on bullying prevention go to http://www.vahealth.org/Injury/preventbullyingva/ or http://www.stopbullying.gov

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