Twenty Must-See Documentaries of 2012: Bully, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, and More
[Editor's Note: During the course of the year, I am lucky to get to read about the creative industries I love, as told through the eyes of brilliant writers who live and breath the arts. Jane Boursaw of Reel Life With Jane is one of the best. Here are her picks for the best documentaries of 2012. --Morgan]
It’s been another stellar year for documentaries, with thoughtful films tackling such topics as bullying, bloated wealth, female body image, speaking out when it’s dangerous, saving a city from burning, and becoming a musical superstar. Let’s take a look at the documentaries that made our Best of 2012 list.
1. Bully. The Department of Education estimates that 13 million kids will be bullied this year, and this documentary centers on five of these victims, including Alex, a 12-year-old seventh grader at East Middle School in Sioux City, Iowa. Everything from the bullying to the ineffectual efforts of school administrators to his parents’s frustration is caught on tape. Alex is threatened, called names, hit, pushed, poked and stabbed — all on film.
Director Lee Hirsch was able to capture such shocking behavior by blending into the daily life of the school and even the school bus while shooting over the course of the 2009-2010 academic year. Everyone should see this movie, whether you’re a kid, a parent, a grandparent, a teacher, a bus driver, or anyone else with the power to stop bullying. Reel Life With Jane review.