The words we say are like bricks or building blocks. They can be used for good to build something or they can be used to build walls or to destroy and damage. We can use our words to build some one up and build a bridge in relationships and communication. Or we can chose to use our words to break someone down, cause damage, create barriers and walls in communication and put divide between us.
To Matthew Marshall the co-owner of m & s Marshall productions and the writer and director of the short film Malicious Attack he feels the idea of words being used to build up or destroy is at the heart of the issue of bullying. “Too many people use their words to bully and break down others so they can step up on them. Why can’t we use our words to build people up and build something better through positive discussion and communication.
Malicious Attack cast member Helena Rose who plays Alicia in the film reflects on what it is like for teenage girls going to high school right now and dealing with mean words and bullying. ”My character sees bullying happening around her and it saddens her. I see a reflection of real life in the film, where teen girls are bullied over prom dresses and other social matters that in a few short years will not matter. Yet in the moments of here and now, the words and actions said and done to them hurt deep and leave scars that last into those few years down the road”, say Rose.
Marshall and his cast of Malicious Attack are working on the film about bullying to bring the issue into the light and start a discussion between people of all different backgrounds about bullying. Those that bully hurt their victims in all kinds of different ways. Physically, emotionally, mentally. But at the core of all the hurt is words that are spoken. It has been said that words can be sharper than any two edge sword. This statement is true and many can tell their stories about how they have been hurt. Through the characters in the film that endure bullying, Marshall hopes the story can help people step forward and share what they have been through and together people can stand up against bullying.
Malicious Attack cast member Dina Jasim, stands with Marshall on this hope that the film can help bring change to people that have endured bullying through verbal abuse and insults. Jasim plays the character of Linda who is an immigrant who is picked on verbally by the bully of the film Savannah (Elina Lattanzio). Jasim, has seen firsthand people around her who have endured bullying. And being an immigrant herself has witnessed how people not from the country they are living in can be treated like outsiders. Many times it is through words that this is expressed. The verbal abuse and name calling is a theme that runs through Malicious Attack in the characters that are labelled “outsiders” for various reasons. Such as Jasim’s character of an immigrant but also the social outcast of a teen named raven that dresses in black and is very quiet. Or Sara the teenager who is Pregnant. Savannah even picks on the “good girl” in Naomi (Katie Ostojic) the one that everyone likes and who says very little. Yet the bully sees this as a weakness. “We see people different then us in skin colour or where they come from and we get scared or we think we are better then, them and we speak hurtful things” says Marshall. And it’s those words that can do damage to someone. Sometimes more then we realize. “Words can hurt deeper than we think. They get into our bodies like a disease, slowly affect our brains and hearts” says Jasim. She goes on to talk about how words sometimes can cut deeper than a knife or a sword. “We need to know that every word we say to someone can be sharper than any two edge sword”, Marshall expresses on the topic. These words that are said to someone can stay in one’s mind forever. Sometimes making the person feel like the world is too small for them. This person could be in a crowded room yet still left feeling lonely. They are living with toxic thoughts fighting inside of their brain because of some words. “They start to judge themselves when the only thing they are hearing is judgmental comments from those that are in their surroundings” says Jasim. “Then they get mentally overwhelmed and sick. The people around them won’t see it but they are live with it”, Jasim goes on to say. The person gets more and more tired every day. Getting farther and farther away from happiness and closer and closer to negativeness consuming their lives. They lose all their hope and self-esteem. “ A few words can impact your life, thinking and dreams. Some people live to attack others not only physically but emotionally” says Jasim. She goes on to say “It is important to know that you can’t change and control what others say, but you can start with yourself and the surroundings” Jasim says. Marshall, Jasim and the entire cast hopes that people can stand up for themselves and the people you love if they face bullying. If they can’t stand up for themselves then the cast and crew hope they can find someone to talk to that will help stand up for them. “It’s important to find a listening ear that understand you and will listen to what you are going through says Marshall. The lead of the film who plays Naomi offers this to those going through bullying. “If you’re being bullied, you’re never alone and even though it can be scary to come forward, it’s always good to talk to someone you can trust. If you don’t have anyone you trust in your life there are many helplines available, surround yourself in positive people and healthy environments” say Ostojic. Jasim goes on to say “bullying is only a word but it is a word that can kill”. But Marshall feels if people stand together and are willing to listen to those that are suffering with a compassionate listening ear and allow those enduring bullying to tell their story without being judged. “Then together we can stand up, building towards a better future and change the world to end bullying”, says Marshall