Championing positive male role models in the community – that was the goal of locally produced short documentary film “Men’s Voice.”
On Monday (20 November) evening, the Family Resource Centre-commissioned film premiered to mark International Men’s Day.
“Many males suffer issues in silence due to the way we are socialised,” Health Minister Hon. Dwayne Seymour said to the packed-out audience who gathered to watch the film.
“How many times have you heard expressions like ‘man up,’ ‘take it like a man,’ ‘big boys don’t cry’?” he asked the audience.
He added: “I heard it all my life”.
Mr. Seymour explained: “Feeding into stereotypes which insist males need to be unemotional and stoic often leads to boys and men not being comfortable with showing vulnerability or acknowledging they have problems.”
He shared his own experience: “trust me I know about it. I wouldn’t surrender at all.”
Produced in conjunction with the Family Resource Centre, the film collated voices from across Cayman, to acknowledge the challenges facing men and boys and support them in the community.
One such voice was artist Joseph Betty, who explained:
“I was in a place where I became very angry because I was trying to find an identity that wasn’t there. It was meaningless,” he admitted.
The film urged a call to action, to discuss issues and help find solutions. But in spite of the serious tone of the issues, the Health Minister was still able to raise a laugh.
“I did not have a make-up artist, no powder, no blush. I didn’t know if my lips were chapped,” he said of the filming process, to laughs from the spectators.
There were prizes, too, for the packed-out audience. But the biggest winners? Those who were brave enough to “man up” and share their stories.
At the premiere, the team encountered some technical difficulties. The version of “Men’s Voice” shown at the event was not the final edit.
But the FRC said that the final cut will be available for people to check out online.