A must see film for educators, parents and students
Submit the documentary is an hour long series of vignettes exploring the damage caused by cyberbullying. Victims describe their experiences, the scope of which is narrated by friends, families and academic and psychology experts to create a complete picture of the all too pervasive internet problem.
A slick yet incisive production, this film doesn’t set out to scaremonger or shock the audience into fearing some demonic teenage version of the internet. Instead it focuses on the behaviors associated with bullying and the peer pressure teenagers experience, and how these manifest in the online world. It’s the people and the interactions, not the web, which are the problems, and this is borne out by the stories.
Too many cyberbullying films and documentaries focus on instilling fear in parents and children who don’t yet have any online experience. This film doesn’t fall into that trap, it offers hope. The internet isn’t vilified – the positives are highlighted – and for this reason it’s a great film to augment preventative strategies. Simple and clear solutions are suggested – communication – between children and parents, schools and pupils, parents and schools – common sense approaches which are proven to work. Watch this film and you and your students will know what to look out for, what to avoid, and not simply what to fear.
But having said that, the director doesn’t hold back with a blunt and hard hitting style. The film is effective and attention grabbing due to the focus on the narrative. It avoids rafts of statistics and recent news events. Highlighting the stories leads the viewer to empathize and understand the perspective and mindset of the victims and why the bullying is so damaging in the long term. For these reasons, this film isn’t going to go out of date any time soon.
One particular strength is the film’s completeness in describing cyberbullying scenarios. Submit doesn’t avoid negative endings, nor does it avoid difficult decisions and solutions or suggesting a way forward. We’ve found that bullying is rendered less damaging when children know how to report, how to avoid, and how to remove – often bullies are less likely to bully once they realize their actions don’t have the desired effect or attract the desired attention. Creating a well-informed student group is the equivalent of immunizing your pupils against cyberbullying.
The information and content is accurate, prescient and reflects the cases we deal with at regainyourname.com and @stopwebbullying on a week to week basis. Every school, parent and teacher should view and discuss this film. Even if your school does nothing else, one viewing of this film will go a long way to enlightening the student and parent body.
This really is a great film, worthy of awards and accolades. But if it saves just one life, that will outweigh any statuettes or written plaudits – and we think it will. Watch it.