My friend in Québec just recently brought this new video to my attention that has been getting a lot of negative and positive feedback. The video is ‘Collège Boy’ by Indochine directed by Xavier Dolan, a 24 year old Québecois filmmaker.
What is this video about?
The video features a young boy in school who doesn’t quite fit in with the other boys. He is a bit of an outsider and everybody knows it. And everyone knows when you’re different in school the bullying begins…
A group of boys throws paper and pencils at him while all his fellow students watch on – but, oh wait – they are all blindfolded so they can’t see! A teacher conveniently listens but turns her head towards the chalk boards, not saying anything.
The boy goes to his locker that has been trashed, presumably by the boys. And then is in gym class, where he is then, you guessed it, bullied some more as witnesses look on with blindfolds.
After that, he is beat up on school grounds and pissed on by the bullies. They go on to crucify him and hang him on the cross outside of school while the other students look on (with blindfolds on) while taking photos and videos of the action on their smart phones.
Finally, the police get there (who are also blindfolded) and they too go on to hurt the bullied boy instead of the bullies.
Wow, it really isn’t his day, is it?
Note: Although it isn’t entirely clear in the video, Indochine and Dolan have said that the video is supposed to showcase homophobic bullying and the consequences of ignoring it.
Why is this video so controversial?
A lot of people are up in arms because of the gratuitous violence portrayed in the video. They think that showing this kind of violence in the media enables people to act in this manner. The video is possibly going to be banned in France and probably other countries like the US.
But isn’t that the point of the video? Dolan is pushing a major societal issue into our faces. Yes, to create shock value, but also to drive the point home that bullying is an issue among our youth that we must find a solution to now before more youth are killed or lose their lives to suicide.
What Dolan has to say…
“It seems absurd to me that the clip is censored,” said Dolan. “Is it really more violent than all the movies that arrive on our screens every day? The question shouldn’t be – did I go too far? It should be – what’s stopping a group of teenagers from going this far, given how powerful the gun lobby is in the U.S.” – The Gazette (Montréal)
“Is there really another way today in 2013 to make an impression on people so they will know if they do hurt other people they will feel the pain and the violence and how far will we go? We live in a society that allows this sort of extreme violence,” The Toronto Star
Watch the video below and let me know what your opinion is: