Saw Afdlin Shauki’s Buli last night, which I thought was quite good for a directing debut. It had his name written all over it. And with his buddies Na’a Murad and Ako Mustapha helping out, (Na’a co-directs, Ako plays his best pal in the movie) Afdlin got his back covered.

Buli started well enough but dragged a bit towards the end. I’d give it 3 out 5, which, for a Malay movie, is the highest I’ve rated in the past 5 years.

Touching on the issue, I’ve never been seriously bullied when I was younger, just the occasional senior-junior ragging where I either had to wash their clothes or sing for them. I think I had a slight inferiority complex when I started wearing glasses at the age of 12 (“Four Eyes” was not a flattering name) but the experience was not too damaging.

It was when I was in Japan did I realise that bullying is a very serious problem. Kids would rather not go to school, and even commit suicide because of it. I remembered an incident where a teenager (15, I think) killed a little boy, and cut him into pieces. The guy even taunted the police by leaving notes saying things line “You’ll never catch me”. When he was eventually caught, it turned out that he’s been skipping school a lot, always kept to himselves playing violent RPGs, and was bullied often.

It is sad when things like that happens. And even sadder that a kid had to endure such treatment from his peers. Adults can be cruel, but kids can be too, and most of the time they don’t even know it.
Like Afdlin’s character in the movie, the scars took a long time to heal, and someone had to get hurt first in the process.

Should I have kids of my own, I don’t know what I’ll do if they were bullied or became the bully.


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