An exploration of Irish masculinity through the eyes of Athalie Francis’ younger brother and his closest group of friends.
Directed by Athalie, we get a glimpse inside the minds of boys. They’re often seen as insensitive and silly, but through narration and video clips, we get to learn from the lads themselves about the expectations of men in Ireland and how they truly feel about that. The traditional expectations are to be the man of the house and stand up for themselves, but deep down, they want to share their emotions and not feel these societal pressures.
Through the film, we learn how sport is a big part of social status, from lovers of football to hockey. People assume that hockey is more of a women’s sport, but to hear this group of boys talk so vulnerably about their likes and dislikes of sport is so important to see. Again, there are assumptions and traditions, and wants to be cool at school, and there is a pressure for males to be a certain way and do certain things, so to be able to break this down has been a pleasure to see.
With home video, party photos and shots specifically filmed for the short documentary, we get a marvellous insight into the lives of this group. We assume that guys wearing hoodies and caps are dangerous hanging around on street corners, but that’s just the style and where people can be themselves outside of their personal lives. We also get to learn about race and how being black often comes before being a man and wanting to do things can be difficult as people see the colour of your skin before your gender and make assumptions on both.
I loved seeing this film and it has really made me see how we shouldn’t just assume that all men are rude and insensitive, but that they should be given a chance to break down their barriers and be their true selves. I’m so glad that Athalie’s brother has been able to find this group of friends that he can grow up with and tell things to, because that’s what friendship is all about, nothing to do with gender.