Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Evolution of Dad

Father’s Day is just around the corner. It means something much different when you become a father yourself. I was able to see a new indie film that just came out called The Evolution of Dad. Whenever someone asks me to see or read something I’m always a little skeptical. Especially when it has to do with parenting or fatherhood. The whole reason I wrote my book was because there was nothing for the dude to prepare him for fatherhood that didn’t sound contrived or make you want to hang yourself. Plus, I’ve seen many, many movies and my time has become quite limited due to having two kiddies trying to kill me every day.

But I watched it and I was quite surprised. In a very, very good way. Not only was this an informative, interesting documentary on what could be a very boring subject, but it was also entertaining as well. Funny, heartfelt, and not at all too long. You don’t think that last one is a good point? When you see as many movies as I do, length becomes an item worthy of critique.

I felt a real kinship with filmmaker Dana Glazer and his doc subjects. In fact, we have a mutual friend who used to work at the Sci Fi Channel (when it was still called that. SyFy?! REALLY? ) and that’s how I found out about Dana. Dana was an aspiring Hollywood filmmaker, got punched in the face by the industry and then had children and wondered what he had done wrong with his life and career. And as he learned, the answer is… nothing. Except maybe he could have kissed a little more Hollywood ass, but the truth is no one really knows if that helps or not.

The Evolution of Dad hits the modern fatherhood nail so squarely on the head you don’t even realize what the head is until Dana shows it to you. There’s been a double standard for years. MEN aren’t supposed to take care of their children. MEN are supposed to work and see their kids an hour a night and maybe a little longer on the weekends.

But this isn’t a boring, no point documentary like Babies. Glazer has a point, and he makes it quite eloquently through his subjects. The roles of Dads are changing but they are changing quicker than our ingrained perceptions and cultural beliefs, as outdated as they are. It’s also a well crafted documentary. The tuition money at NYU film school was not wasted.

Glazer doesn’t just interview Dads. He interviews lawyers, activists, psychiatrists, and yes, even moms. He tries to get to the root of what has been going on for years: Why is there a stigma to a man raising a child by choice?!

It is SO difficult for us as modern men in our culture to accept that fact that we can contribute to our families in ways other than financial. We don’t HAVE to work constantly. We don’t HAVE to be obsessed by work. In a weird way, our culture expects us to ignore our children as long as a paycheck is coming in.

If you are a new father, you should see this movie. If you are a veteran father, you should see this movie. Actually, if you are a parent you should see this movie. See how things are changing and how far we still have to go.

But the point is that things are changing. Thank God! And thanks to filmmakers like Dana Glazer for pointing it out.

Dana has also provided a little Father’s Day card. Share it with your father. OK, you may need to play it for him on the computer.



Find out more about Dana Glazer and his film at EvolutionofDad.com

3 comments:

SciFi Dad said...

I'd heard about the project when it was in development a few years ago. It sounds like it's taken off.

sherri said...

dude, you are making me misty. my dad passed away when I was fourteen. I can't wait to see this documentary. I love pretty much all documentaries (weird, but true) but this one sounds particularly well done. thanks for writing about it!

Jocelyn said...

My husband's been our stay-at-home for the last decade, and he, despite being pretty damn zen about most things, has occasionally been bumfuddled by the Clique of Mommies that never include him in their library storytime conversations...but if I show up one time, they surround me like the Prodigal Mommy, come home.

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