Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Secret Lives of Men - Five Friends (A Film about Male Friendships)

[Erik Mandel]

Erik Santiago is the writer/producer/director of Five Friends, a documentary about male friendships and intimacy. The tagline of the film is "No man can make the journey alone" - which is so true. Men seldom have deep and meaningful relationships with other men, which is why men's groups have sprouted up over the years. They plan to release a workbook to help other men build this kind of intimate friendships.

In the film, author and sociologist Michael Kimmel is one of the two primary experts (the other is Alan Frow, a California pastor) they speak with about men and male friendships.

Here is a synopsis of the film, followed by the trailer:

Five Friends Synopsis

We live in the age of the “bromance.” Never has pop culture been so fascinated with male friendships. What do they look like? Why are they important? And how do we talk about them without seeming … unmanly? Films like “I Love You, Man” or the recent GQ article entitled “Are You Man Enough for the Man-Date?” are just a couple of examples of how society is wrestling with what male relationships look like in our evolving society. But even the word “bromance” implies a certain awkwardness and uncertainty about how to refer to these close relationships between men.

Early American writer and philosopher, Elbert Hubbard, said, “My father always used to say that when you die, if you’ve got five real friends, you’ve had a great life.” Five Friends is the story of how one man sought to live that life. Beautifully shot, from the mountains of Southern California to the New England coastline, Five Friends captures the intimate relationships of a 65-year-old man and his five friends as they reflect on their lives together, support each other in personal struggle and mine the depths of meaningful friendship. Success, conflict, marriage, divorce, fatherhood, children and dying. These men reveal their fears and dreams to one another in a profound exploration of vulnerability and transparency among men. From touching moments to horrific tragedy and darkness, the spectrum of human emotion colors this breathtaking portrait.

This delicate and often taboo subject of male intimacy is navigated by experts in the field. Michael Kimmel is a sociologist at SUNY Stonybrook and author of more than twenty books on men and masculinity. He provides unique insight from his study of how men relate to each other and the obstacles to men connecting with each other. Alan Frow is a pastor in Southern California who teaches and speaks to men around the world in a variety of cultures. Frow offers a profound perspective of intimacy that exposes some of the hidden insecurities that lie beneath the fragile masculine fa├žade. As these five friendships unfold, our experts discuss the complex relational pressures acting on men and reveal the increasing importance of confronting these issues.

Men need men, it’s just that we don’t talk about it. Five Friends is a ground-breaking documentary that forces the conversation and explores what it means for men to be loving, transparent, vulnerable and even intimate with each other.


Erik and Hank Mandel - the man who is the center of the film - join Chris Blazina on this recent episode of the Secret Lives of Men. After read the press info and hearing these men talk, I really want to see this film.

Five Friends

by Secret Lives of Men

Tue, Apr 26, 2011

Early American writer and philosopher, Elbert Hubbard, said, “My father always used to say that when you die, if you’ve got five real friends, you’ve had a great life.” Five Friends is the story of how one man sought to live that life. Beautifully shot, from the mountains of Southern California to the New England coastline, Five Friends captures the intimate relationships of a 65-year-old man and his five friends as they reflect on their lives together, support each other in personal struggle and mine the depths of meaningful friendship. Success, conflict, marriage, divorce, fatherhood, children and dying. These men reveal their fears and dreams to one another in a profound exploration of vulnerability and transparency among men. From touching moments to horrific tragedy and darkness, the spectrum of human emotion colors this breathtaking portrait.

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1 comment:

Sage said...

Thanks for posting this Bill. Your blog here continues to be my "go to" source for all high quality information regarding the lives of men...