ACTORS – Lexi Ainsworth, Hunter King, Jimmy Bennett
DIRECTOR – Amy S. Weber
CERT – 12
Anyone who says your school days are the best of your life was never bullied.
A Girl Like Her is the story of a girl pushed to attempt suicide due to bullying. While the attempt doesn’t work as intended Jessica is now in a coma in hospital.
The film starts in a found footage style where we see Jessica (Lexi Ainsworth) swallow pills and pass out on the floor. She’s wearing a tiny camera her friend Brian (Jimmy Bennett) gave her to capture the bullying that’s been going on for the past 6 months.
The suicide gains Jessica’s school some publicity and so a documentary crew arrive and start filming the every day goings on in school.
Shot like a genuine documentary interspersed with footage of Jessica and Brian dealing with the fallout of the abuse. It’s hard to watch at times, the director hasn’t shied away from showing how the parents of Jessica are dealing with a daughter in intensive care.
Hunter King is Avery Keller – The Bully and she does a great job of being thoroughly loathsome. Throughout the film we see the family of both girls and their home dynamics. It’s clear Jessica comes from a loving family and that Avery is a product of a pushy mother and a clearly indifferent father.
The format works and the characters are all too believable, especially if you’ve ever been bullied. The great thing about the film is that it highlights the more insidious side of bullying, it’s the daily psychological harassment that gets to you. It also did a good job of showing how easy it can be for someone to manipulate friends into indulging in bullying behaviour. As someone who’s seen it first hand, the mob mentality is alive and strong.
These days with the Internet and smartphones being a constant part of children’s lives many victims of bullying feel like there’s no respite. Cyberbullying is very real and it can feel like these is no escape.
It’s fair to say the film is seeking to find the humanity of the people who bully.
“Hurt people, hurt people” and I believe that’s true. I must admit that when it comes to films about bullies I can’t help but want it to turn into Carrie – BURN THEM ALL! But that’s just my bitter black heart speaking.
A Girl Like Her is chillingly accurate and I think would really benefit from being shown in schools.
A Shared Madness
*If you or someone you know is being bullied, children or adults PLEASE reach out to someone you can trust.*