When We Were Bullies
Screening in Telluride Only
A 5th grade memory that pops up 25 years later, triggers a 25-year investigation — presumably undertaken in fits and starts — by filmmaker Jay Rosenblatt. The result is an engrossing story about childhood cruelty and memory. The story is remarkable and it is skillfully rendered in a film that combines reminiscence, whimsy, insane legwork, persistence, deep reflection and more than a few twists and turns. What is remembered of the bullying incident referenced by the film’s title, and by whom? How, why and with what degree of accuracy? And how does any one incident, or coincidence, shape lives? After all, we were all 5th graders once.
Welcome to Lowell High School, San Francisco’s highest-ranking public high school, where nerds rule the hallways, high-achieving is the norm and seniors in the majority Asian-American student body vie for the top prize: admission into their dream college. In the hyper-competitive and increasingly selective college admission world though, being whip smart, incredibly dedicated and decorated with extra-curriculars might not be enough.