“Are your words doing damage?” asks a minute-long music video directed by a high schooler, urging students to stop bullying.
The video was produced by Dolly’s Dream, an anti-bullying foundation created by the parents of Australian Dolly Everett, who ended her life in 2019, at the age of 14, unable to handle relentless bullying.
Directed by 15-year-old Charlotte McLaverty, and set to American pop musician Billie Eilish’s When the party’s over, the video depicts each slur or insult hurled as stones, constantly hitting the targeted individual – whether they are in bed or, at dinner.
The interpretation is an important depiction of how most young people internalise their anxieties.
Teen director McLaverty spoke about her journey with the video on the Australian news programme, The Project. Speaking about the final shot of the film, where it appears that the bullied girl is standing up for herself, McLaverty said, “That’s a very powerful moment. It’s taking back. It’s deciding this is not how I’m going to live, this is not what I’m going to do. It’s adding an end to the film that isn’t happy...but shows hope.”