This portrait of teen bullying should be required viewing from primary school through the college level (plus their parents/guardians); brutally, achingly realistic, writer/director Amy S. Weber’s pseudo documentary is a masterpiece of blindness: parents unaware of a child’s devastation; children hiding their psychological trauma; teachers shunning their responsibilities, accepting the norm; bullies, their deadly tactics; what deep-seated, festering problems gave birth to their amoral, destructive, deadly behavior.
The setting is an upper-class, award-winning High School; students are clean-cut, from two-parent households; still a hotbed of torture; pain so profound, never-ending; suicide is the only remedy. “Jessica Burns” (powerful performance by Lexi Ainsworth) is being bullied by beautiful “Avery Keller” (equally strong depiction by Hunter King). Jessica’s solitary, nerdy friend “Brian”(Jimmy Bennett is sensational), has her wear a tiny camera; recording perpetual harassment, taunts urging her to end her “useless life”; they are sophomores in high school, fifteen –years -old. How did this evil, heartlessness germinate and flourish in those so young?
Weber’s prescience is focusing on the gray area; getting to the guts of the problem; where does accountability lie?; the weakness of those impotent in stopping the bully; it is a cancer fed by contemporary connectedness; lacking a protective filter the epidemic proliferates; ambiguous, “A Girl Like Her” could be any of the protagonists; the “bully” arena is pulsating, thriving; students today will know instinctively which community they inhabit.