Monthly Archives: June 2008

More Messages about Dads From Hollywood

The obvious perspective on how the media treats dads is that fathers tend to be portrayed as bunglers or incompetent in their roles. However, what I keep coming upon, which is perhaps even more unhelpful are the stories told about absentee dads being redeemed by (typically) their grown sons. It’s a message that keeps popping up again and again.

This entry was sparked by my last night viewing of Wanted in which a son must learn to become an assassin in order to avenge the death of his absentee father, who, unbeknownst to him, was one of the world’s deadliest assassins. Sounds kind of like Luke and his dad, doesn’t it? Or then there the last two Indiana Jones films. Or the last Die Hard film (okay, it was a daughter in that one.) A son must redeem his absentee father by becoming, in a sense, just like him.

I have to admit to you that I’m one of the biggest geeks when it comes to Star Wars and Indiana Jones, by the way. There’s nothing wrong with the message that it’s never too late to reconnect with one’s kids. I do see the value in this storyline. However, the problem is that more often than not, this is approach so many of Hollywood’s stories are taking.

The way I see it, the subtle message here is that it’s okay to be an absentee father while one’s kid is young because later on, when everyone’s older, you can get back in touch, so don’t worry about how you don’t have time for your kids now.

I suppose the other reason I’m annoyed by this is the experience of recently filming a father who had been heavily into the ’70’s New York scene of sex, drugs and rock and roll and who found salvation in becoming an involved dad. It’s incredibly moving to be interviewing this dad and his family. Literally, fatherhood saved this guy’s life. I suppose it might not be as sexy as learning that one’s absentee dad was an assassin but let me tell you, listening to this dad talking about his experience will bring tears to your eyes – at least that’s what it did for me.

Why We Film

From the start the goal of making this film has been to affect change by educating and inspiring more dads to get involved with their kids. Promoting this idea while the film takes its snail-paced time to get made is something that’s always on the back of my mind. Frankly, that’s why I put outContinue Reading

The Hidden Crisis of America

Thank God we hold Father’s Day once a year because if it wasn’t on the calendar I don’t think at this point there’d be much of an emphasis on dads on any day of the year. Barack Obama’s comments about the African American fatherhood crisis is greatly welcome and needed and my hope is thatContinue Reading

Equally Shared Parenting at New York Times

It does the heart good to read Lisa Belkin’s well researched NY Times Magazine story about equally shared parenting. Kudos to the Times for putting it out on Father’s Day. I know there were a lot of cranky responses to the article – primarily that it somehow took away from Father’s Day by diminishing dad’sContinue Reading

The Potential of Father’s Day

Is there some value to Father’s Day other than the Hallmark greeting card that it is presently? Is there something more to this day than just buying another tie or another golf shirt for dad? Right now, the manner that we treat this day is emblematic of the extent to which our culture values fatherhoodContinue Reading


Just in time for Father’s Day, here’s the teaser trailer. You can watch it here via YouTube or go here for a higher res version. Enjoy!

Dad – A Bittersweet Tale

It’s amazing the perspective one gets talking to countless people about their relationships with their dads. What’s been made abundantly clear throughout the ongoing process of making this film is how much of an impact the presence or absence of a dad has on people’s lives. The unfortunate picture that keeps getting played out overContinue Reading

NC Dad Summit This Saturday

Just got a note about Greg Barbara, a SAHD/punk rocker, who is putting up a ‘Dad Summit’ at his home in Durham, NC. Here’s what they’ll be doing: 3pm-5pm: meet, greet and eat5pm-7p: discuss topics such asa.) dealing with isolation and depressionb.) blogging for moneyc.) financial management and the need to spendd.) life with aContinue Reading

Goodbye To May

It’s funny. Usually May is what I would consider the best month of the year. The weather is terrific and people are outside more. Love is in the air. School is either ending or at least giving way to a summer break. I usually look back at May near the end of the summer andContinue Reading