Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Fatherhood Dreams": Canadian documentary about gay men who become fathers (and want to)

A 54-minute mini-feature documentary by Julia Ivanova, “Fatherhood Dreams”, traces the development of three families in Canada where gay men become fathers.

The film starts out by saying that Canada is one of the few countries to recognize gay marriage, but it dates back to 2007.  It then presents us with a middle-aged couple Randy and Drew, who have adopted a little boy Jack, and are raising him in the mountains near Vancouver but are looking for a house in the city. They traveled to Edmonton to meet the boy’s grandmother (rather youthful),  who demonstrates that she really does make all her grandkids understand the family.

Steve, a patent lawyer in Vancouver, co-parents his daughters with a lesbian couple living on Protection Island off the British Columbia coast.

Scott, from Montreal, has fraternal twins by a surrogate mother, who by Canadian law cannot provide surrogacy for money, just expenses.

The film shows all the men in family intimacies with their kids, an earthiness with which I personally would not be comfortable. 

The film does start from the presumption that gay parenting is novel, as many people, even in liberal Canada, say that children need “a mom and a dad”.  However, in a broader scheme of things (“generativity” and sustainability), having everyone able to pitch in and take up the duties of parenthood may some day come to be seen as a necessity.

The website for the film (from Seventh Art and Interfilm) is here

For today’s short film, take a look at the 14-minute video by AmanJohnX, “ Society Breeds Gay Men?” 

What’s interesting here is Aman John’s filmmaking style. He is good looking, so, yes, his presence on the screen confers pleasure (even his legs).  Yes, he looks like be burns 4000 calories a day.  When he shows illustrations, quite creatively drawn (sort of in Khan Academy style), he partitions the screen and shows the image on the lower fight.  And he uses color filters as a metaphor.  He sits on a sofa in front of a door with a knob, and odd effect.  He talks about critical thinking – which I like – but sometimes he gets into author intrusion with phrases like “what I’m trying to say” – like a chemistry professor that I remember from undergrad days.  At the end, he says or implies that the third son may well have congenital influences that influence a sense of sexual identity, but society’s notion of “what it means to be a man” (i.e., be the Sea n Connery implementation of James Bond) may well encourage the upward affiliation that we often see in gay men.  I am an only child, though (but with an older than normal father).  His link is here.

Wikipedia attribution link for Edmonton picture. I visited the city in September 1983. 

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