“Mallory” is a documentary directed by Ashley Patino released in early 2021 in the United States. It tells the story of Mallory Grossman, a 12 year old girl who committed suicide after being bullied at school. The documentary begins with alarming suicide figures. “Suicide is now the third leading cause of death for children between ages 10 and 12 in the united States”, “In New Jersey, on average, one person dies by suicide every 11 hours”. These figures show us the alarming state in which the schools are with regard to bullying, especially in the United States.
In this documentary, Mallory is joined by another central figure, Mallory’s mother, Dianne Grossman. Through these images, Dianne Grossman tries to continue the fight that has animated her since the death of her daughter. The education of the youngest but also of the oldest to counter the phenomenon of bullying in schools.
This fight, she leads it through several actions but also through her foundation the Malory’s army. The documentary is punctuated by Dianne Grossman’s different interventions on television, during conferences or in schools. These interventions are interspersed with very personal images of Mallory’s childhood and interventions of professionals who talk to us about bullying, cyberbullying and its consequences.
These different interventions give a good rhythm to the documentary, which despite a difficult subject, remains easy to watch and allows us to realize that any child can be subject to bullying. We could nevertheless regret some intimate scenes during which we witness the parents crying or some scenes of Mallory’s childhood. These scenes seem dispensable, we realize the horror of the situation that Mallory went through and in which the parents are now through the simple telling of the story and the exposition of the facts.
This documentary therefore has an educational purpose. Whether it’s for the children in a rather short vision or for the parents and future parents, which are clearly questioned in this documentary.
A specialist and Mallory’s mother show us through these images that a child is not evil and malicious by nature. All the behaviors they adopt, the words they use come from their surroundings and the education they received from their parents. Ashley Patino, Mallory’s parents, her family and the members of Mallory’s Army Foundation hope that this documentary will raise awareness about bullying in schools and change future behaviors.
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