Even moreso than Bowie’s latest, Indochine’s violent video for “College Boy” has caused quite the controversy. I personally find the piece incredible and quite necessary, and I completely agree with director Xavier Dolan’s statement on it:
“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.”
On the censorship it received in Quebec, he said: “It seems absurd to me that the clip is censored. 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.”
In a Toronto Star article, Theresa Campbell, president of Safer Schools Together, argued against it:
“The reality is it goes right into blatant violence and assault, so you’ve kind of lost the line there in terms of the relationship to bullying behaviours,” she said. “We want kids to know the difference.”
In my opinion, Campbell completely misses the point – and such a statement makes me wonder if she herself ever actually experienced bullying – because if she had, she would understand that the video is portraying just how it feels to be the victim of this kind of non stop torture.
Even if the bullying is just verbal – if it is constant – as most bullying behaviours are, it completely consumes you and destroys your life in the same way that this kind of physical violence kills people. You become so filled with self hate you yourself turn to real physical violence – weather it’s against yourself, or against the classmates perpetuating it – because you feel so alone and hopeless. Teen suicide and school shootings are becoming more common each and every day. You can’t say that blatant violence isn’t a part of the problem when it so often is the end result.
For me, this is one of the most effective anti-bullying videos I’ve ever seen. Anyone who’s ever been a victim can relate powerfully to the message happening here. The fact that people involved in supposed anti-bullying organizations can’t see its clear intent makes me even more worried for our youth.
If the people in power don’t realize that this is how it feels emotionally – that every cruel word cuts through the victim like a bullet – how can they be of any help?
After watching it, how do you feel about it? Let me know below.