26th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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When We Were Bullies
When We Were Bullies
When We Were Bullies

When We Were Bullies

director: Jay Rosenblatt
original title: When We Were Bullies
country: United States, Germany
year: 2021
running time: 35 min.


Distressing memories from school days are often associated with experiences of bullying. In Jay Rosenblatt’s playful, yet serious miniature presentation, the subconscious act of power becomes the object of an in-depth examination of feelings of guilt and responsibility. The filmmaker returns to his elementary school in Brooklyn after fifty years, to his classmates and class teacher, in order to diagnose the roots of his own tendencies to bully. Instructional school films, animated collages, and confrontations with his former accomplices help him unravel the web of guilt, anger, and frustration. The film uses rationalization and psychoanalytic reconstruction as a way to fragile documentary redemption.

"Yes, this is a particularly bullying moment in our collective lifetime. The making of this film, which took almost four years, has pretty much spanned the length of that nightmare administration." (Jay Rosenblatt)


Jay Rosenblatt previously worked as therapist and psychologist. Since 1980, he is an internationally recognized independent documentary filmmaker. He teaches at several film schools. Rosenblatt has made over thirty films in which he focuses on emotional and psychological issues. His films stand out as personal messages with universal communicative strength.

more about film

director: Jay Rosenblatt
producer: Jay Rosenblatt, Stefano Tealdi
script: Jay Rosenblatt
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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