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Wasserman Cinematheque, Sachar International Center, IBS
Part of the 'DEIS Impact Festival of Social Justice
The Vidovic family came to Mentor to escape the war in Croatia only to have their daughter Sladjana commit suicide at age 16 after years of relentless bullying. More interested in maintaining its image than in helping protect vulnerable students, Mentor High School failed to punish the perpetrators.
Eric Mohat, 17, hardly seemed the type to be targeted by bullies. Active in musical theatre, he seemed like a happy kid. Until the day he committed suicide, the family had no idea of the bullying he endured.
Devastating, illuminating and buttressed with a haunting score, director Lambert skillfully documents bullying in the internet age and makes us wonder if Mentor is just the tip of the iceberg. This film is thought provoking and unforgettable.
A discussion with filmmaker Alix Lambert and bullying expert Dorothy L. Espelage, Ph.D., moderated by Joy Von Steiger, clinical director of the Brandeis Psychological Counseling Center, follows the screening.