My mom called me last week with a sense of hesitancy in her voice. I had shared the intro to the film with her with the understanding that she would keep it between herself and my dad. As it turned out, my mom decided to watch this piece of the film on her computer while the house was being cleaned. My mom explained to me that, while viewing the video, she wasn’t paying attention to the fact that a cleaner had entered the room and that he was dusting behind her. She suddenly turned around to find the man sobbing. Turns out that he had been watching the intro over her shoulder. My mom wasn’t sure whether to tell me or not about this incident but I’m glad she did as I was a little worried that the intro might not be working as well as I was hoping. Needless to say, that worry has passed.
This afternoon my mother called again and asked me if I wouldn’t mind speaking to this Guatemalan man who cleans her house. In slightly broken English he thanked me.
“I hadn’t thought about my father in this way before,” he explained, “and I hope your movie is seen because it could help make better people.”
I thanked this man for his kind comment on my work and got off the phone. Since talking to him, I haven’t been able to get out of my head what he said about “Making better people.”
Making better people. Yes, that’s really what this is about. There are proven benefits for kids when dads are more involved in their lives and this can only help make those kids better people.
I have no illusions about whether a movie can really change the world but if it inspires even one dad to strive to spend more time with his kids, then the time and effort spent making this film will have been worth it.