Wednesday, January 04, 2012

ABSENT

ABSENT
Documentary on Fatherlessness
by Justin Hunt

TRAILER
My copy arrived and I felt myself instantly less excited to watch it. The truth of it is fatherlessness plagues my whole family. My mother and her siblings often had no father around due to working away and he was not always engaged with the needs of his children when he was around. My cousins as well - though they did luck out and end up with a decent step father who really picked up the slack...in turn it meant his biological children grew up without their father around...I grew up fatherless or as a red-headed step child (who was not a red head). Father figures in my life equate to rejection, fear, abuse, psychological warfare and indifference...and look...my own daughter has grown up fatherless. See the cycle here? It is very intertwined with poverty and other great social issues.

None of this is news of course. I went into this documentary already an expert in the field. Some of the people in it were interesting and had some good insight for sure and practical real life experience dealing with the effects of fatherlessness in western culture (working in prisons etc) and the stats are good food for thought as well - only a little vague I thought....

The 3 main contributors (experts) were tooting the same horn pretty much and it seemed veiled in Christianity (sometimes not veiled but rather blatant) to the point where I wasn’t quite rolling my eyes but...the thing is - I am not a Christian but common sense is common sense even when coming from a Christian. This is not some Christian epiphany...The people interviewed who shared their stories were engaging but it was lacking in depth for me somehow...even James Hetfield’s segment, while interesting did seemed too edited. The segments where some of his lyrics came up on screen to show how he had clearly been struggling with things over the years was quite cool UNTIL a VOICE read them out loud like poetry with fake emotion and anger....so so so stupid. Really should have just left the lyrics on the screen and cut the silly part out.

Anyway...one little part that really struck me was how kids who grow up this way make ‘vows’ to themselves...to never be hurt again, to never trust again, to never be vulnerable again, etc...It’s an individual thing of course dependent on whatever issues you have...and really it works for any kind of serious hurt/betrayal you experience as a kid I think...I started thinking about my childhood vows to myself. {Insert long pause here} ...especially how they do not serve me well anymore...they may have been self-preservation 25-30 yrs ago but now they are limiting and stifling...so how does one unbrainwash themselves?

I think fathers jilting their children and being irresponsible is an epidemic problem and I do not understand how it has become so acceptable in society....we have gotten to the point where we 'expect' it....and that IS crazy and sad...

3 comments:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I've not heard of this film, but it sounds like it makes some good points. It's a shame about the lyric reading thing. Reminds me about those stupid macho truck commercials where they also read out the words on the screen, as though we are too stupid to read them ourselves. But perhaps their target market is.

~Jen~ said...

it is worth a watch for sure...it raises many good points some ppl may not be mindful of...

ya the truck commercials...good gawd.

~Jen~ said...

PS: if I can figure it out I can try to send u a copy