Everyday Activist - A Better Man (MLJFF 2017)

Posted on Friday, November 17, 2017 at 06:00 PM

A Better Man (MLJFF 2017)

Movie Review by Everyday Activist X CalgaryMovies.com

Jackson Katz lectures about domestic violence as a men's issue and the film A Better Man supports that theory; however, when working with clients a truth emerges: Hurt people hurt people. For me the ability to create a fair and equitable society comes from having healthy people, who can have the freedom to express themselves in many different ways, rather than just anger and violence. Theo Fleury’s documentary, Victor Walk, brilliantly worked through his hyper masculine sports hero façade to reveal a vulnerable man who was able to eventually heal. A Better Man needed to take a similar approach for it have impact.

I'm sure if Steve and Attiya were to fill out Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) forms both of them would show trauma in their background prior to moving in together as teenagers. Steve admits to the therapist that events in his past caused him to lash out in anger and Attiya says something like she thought that violence within a relationship was acceptable. She never talks about her family at all except to say they moved out of her mother's basement. Culturally, East Indians don't let go of their kids and are especially protective of their daughters, so unless she came from a broken home, moving out as a teenager in high school would have been difficult.

Even if Steve and Attiya filled out ACE forms I'm not sure who would care enough to intervene to help either of them. In the film they talk about their high school and how the teachers KNEW what was going on but did NOTHING to stop it. In their old neighborhood the same sort of behavior took place. Attiya, a young, battered woman runs out of her house screaming for help and NO ONE helps her. Though life is different in Toronto. My aunt living in Mississauga often says “Out here it's not love thy neighbor; it's watch thy neighbor”.

A Better Man will screen as part of the Marda Loop Justice Film Festival 2017 on Sunday, November 19th at 2:15 pm at the River Park Church. Professionals will be available to discuss the film afterwards, if anyone has questions or concerns about domestic violence. Because it is a National Film Board production, it will be available on the NFB website for purchase. 


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.