Powerful message draws a human response

When Tracey Ly covered her body in hurtful words for a short film she could not have expected the reaction.

03 December 2020
A young woman with cruel words written on her face and limbs
Image: Challenging topic: A scene from Tracey Ly's movie, 'I'm human ... just like you'.


It is a hard movie to watch, but Tracey Ly’s short film about bullying has had an extraordinary impact.

Created while she was completing her HSC this year at Bossley Park High School, the film examines the negative impacts of bullying, particularly on a student with disability.

Last month the movie, I’m human … just like you, won the People’s Choice Award in the Film by Online Film Festivals senior category and Tracey’s work was also featured in local media.

Tracey said she was excited to win the popular vote.

“It is not only that I won, it is also because it has been a platform for more people to see the movie and hear its message,” she said.

Speaking ahead of today’s International Day of People with Disability, Tracey said the response to the movie had also been inspiring and unexpected.

“I’ve had lots of messages from people to say that the movie has really helped them and raised awareness [of the issue],” she said.

Tracey made the film as part of a school project.

“When I first heard we had to make a film that represented us, my first thought was bullying,” she said.

“Bullying is such a heavy topic, but I believe one of the most important to talk about.”

In a powerful scene, Tracey’s limbs and face are covered by hurtful words such as freak, worthless and loser.

“Those words were ones people had said to me and I had said them myself,” she said.

“I want people to watch this film and understand that only you can decide if the words will hurt you.”

Tracey said she planned to make more films and was determined to use her success as a kickstart to study film making post-high school.

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