In this interview, filmmaker Maja Bugge, talks about smashing the myth that men are not emotional beings.
Greg Berg from Radio Enso interviewed Maja and me about her film, About Men, and my men’s group, which was featured in the film. It was great hearing a woman’s perspective on how the men of the group express their emotions. She admitted that she didn’t believe that men could be as emotional as women, but discovered the men in this group were more emotionally expressive than many women she knows.
I expect that much of what surprised her is due to the power of the group. Men feel safe and quickly realize that there is a subtle honor for emotional vulnerability and expression. Men earn the respect of other men by being emotionally authentic.
What is authentic is unique for each man. Yet when a man gets it, the whole group feels it. As a viewer of the film, you also can feel it.
Maja admitted that a few of the emotionally intense scenes were almost overwhelming for some viewers. The realness of a man confronting an old issue head-on can be powerful – particularly if you can relate to the man’s story of his past.
The four men Maja feature in About Men address common issues: death of a family member, relationship concerns, financial loss, and limiting family histories. You quickly connect with these men because they are genuine. In the film, you see how each man addresses his challenge and how the group supports him.
Seeing the film and hearing Maja speak about the group, and the men in it, has helped me realize how special this group really is. Unfortunately, few men have similar deep connections to other men. As my friend Ken asks, “Who do you call at 2 am?” After watching this film you can understand why any of these men would answer that phone in the middle of the night.