Meetings with Men Movie Nights

posted by Eivind on December 26, 2010, at 3:33 pm

Patrick Timmermanns, host of Meetings with Men (added by editor)

Eivind inspired me in writing an article about the movie nights for men in Amsterdam which I organize. I waited some time before I started writing and now I know why. After five monthly movie nights I can reflect on them by writing about it and share it with my brothers.

I started the Meetings with Men Movie Nights in August after I was again inspired by Eivind. By organizing his movie nights in Oslo I found my way at this moment in giving my energy to wake up men. I studied film science as a passion and knew I wanted to organize movie nights with movies that would wake up the viewer. Never knew what my audience would be until I discoverd Masculinity Movies through a friend whos men’s training I did at Venwoude. After that training I felt that I have a part in waking up men and saw the possibility of film in this.

So the idea was there. I shared it with some friends who were enthousiastic about the idea. I thought about the practical part and then I laid it to rest. As I do with many ideas I find it hard to take action. I have the direction but miss the action. What I needed was a push forwards and I found it at a spiritual festival here in Holland. I knew I had to do it and did it. So instead of shoving the starting date forward and forward I found a place to screen the movies and just send out the invitations. The last Saturday of August the first Meetings with Men Movie Night was a fact.

The movie shown on that night was “Revolutionary Road”. I was fascinated about the way the man in that movie was choosing for safety instead of challenge and how he couldn’t cope with the “madness” of his wife. Recognizable for me and the seven other men attending the screening. We shared after the film and like always I found it great to share with brothers. Even though I didn’t have an idea of how to do it all went like it had to go. And  when a kind of discussion grew I had to stop it because I wanted to stay out of discussing about and let men share what was the truth for them. So I learned from that evening how I would do it next time.

The next screening was a month later. The movie nights are the last Saturdays of the month. An exemption was this month since many men including me would celebrate Christmas. On the second movie night I showed “The Road”. Only one man, a good friend, showed up because many couldn’t even if they wanted. I felt dissapointment and decided not to act to that feeling. I enjoyed watching the movie with him and was touched by this heavy film. I didn’t watch it before the screening like I usually do because I wanted to be surprised. After the film I had a good conversation and knew it wouldn’t matter how many men would come it is always good.

On the third screening I wanted to show a film about mentorship so I showed a film that was on my list for a long time: “Buddha’s Lost Children”. Four men showed up and it was again a good night. We had a good and brotherly sharing and in that sharing we touched the topic of man and agression. Some men were triggered by how the monk in the film used agression for making his point. So for the fourth screening I chose “A History of Violence”. Again a night to remember by and share about this topic with which I’m not finished yet.

It’s great to experience the power of letting  go of a plan and seeing the best thing for that moment popping up at the spot. I don’t have a list of which film I will show when. What I mostly did is look at the movie database that Eivind made and feel which film chooses me. And like after the third screening somebody came up with an idea and I reacted upon it. For the fifth movie night I had to show a movie that touched me deeply. It was “The Boys are Back” and I wanted to show it because I wanted to talk about being a father.

As a father myself for 9 months now and not knowing how to be a father I wanted to make contact with that part through that film and by sharing this with other men. And it was the best choice ever. Three men showed up. One of them being a father for a long time, me being a father for a short time, one of them becoming a father within weeks and one of them just decided he wants to a father. That was bonding I can tell you. And it gave me insights in how I do things like how I recognized myself in the father of that film who’s survival modus is not taking responsibility and running away. He finds himself left alone with his 8 year old son after the dead of his wife and soon his elder son from a former marriage shows up. Moving, funny and interesting how he deals with this situation.

So here I am after five movie nights. The next one in January already planed with “Sideways”. I want to talk with the men about male friendships. It gives me energy to be together with men and enjoy a movie and talk about it afterwards. It gives me energy to hold the space on these nights. It gives me energy to see and hear the men enjoying these nights and wake up a little bit more. It gives me energy to give my energy in this way to my brothers. And though I always get scared and shit in my pants in the week before I just know I have to do this and dot it. This is my contribution in awakening men in Holland!

You are very welcome one of the Meetings with Men Movie Nights or on the Facebook page of Meetings with Men.

Warm greetings,

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