Recommended for highschool and college collections
Wonder why teenage boys can be so distant, sullen, and monosyllabic? This nicely paced and well-documented film examines the cultural underpinnings of boy behavior. Beginning with clips from an unlearning violence therapy session of adult violent offenders, the film calls on teachers, therapists, and boys themselves as it explores the emotional mis-education of men. Steered awayfrom examining the inner life of emotions and empathy by a culture that values aggression, dominance, and stoicism in men, boys are made to adhere to what featured authors Michael Thompson and William Pollack term the culture of cruelty: the constant checking of peers for proof of masculinity through bullying and silence. The greater part of this video focuses on twoconsciousness-raising programs for boys: a three-week wilderness camping trip that shows teenage participants how relationships and interdependence are important, and a three-day workshop during which high schoolers create a special occasion ceremony. The former reveals some especially strong insights, and the latter, initially off-putting owing to some annoyingly Robert Bly-ish goop, begins to take hold when the process uncovers a few real poets.