November 2, 2012

ABSENT - The Fight to Get Fatherhood Back

Last February, I did a blog post about a great film on fatherlessness, titled Absent, by Justin Hunt. The film speaks to the powerful emotional wound that always results from the absence of a father in a young person’s life. In that blog post, you can learn more about the film, read some of the sad data about the costs of absent fathers, and see a clip from the film.

Absent has been shown in cities all over the U.S. and in countries around the world, including Spain, Egypt, South Africa, Germany, France, England, and Australia. That’s because the issue of absent fathers is just that big and universal.

The film is continuing to get spectacular reviews because of its brutally honest approach to the topic and intimate way it addresses this painful issue. In the film, the director, Justin Hunt, interviews prominent men, and has emotionally charged exchanges with prostitutes, homeless people, and even a world champion boxer.

This is a film I like so much, I’d like it to get all the exposure possible. I recommend having the film shown in your men’s group, faith community, neighborhood center, or anywhere people can be gathered. You could even partner with a Boy’s and Girl’s Club, Big Brothers, Big Sisters organization, or any mentoring group in your community for support. I'm certain if you raise this flag, people will come. You can request a screening of Absent for your community by going to the website.

At some level, we all know this problem exists. We see the evidence every night on the news. If at all possible, please help increase awareness of what I call an epidemic of under-male-nourished boys and the costs we all incur when fathers are not part of their children's lives. Please join Justin Hunt and the rest of us in the fight to “get fatherhood back.”

In the video clip below you will hear from people who have seen the Absent film. When I watched it, I heard two loud messages: “The prognosis (for kids, our communities, and our world) isn't good,” and, it’s a moving film that, “gives you hope.”

If the clip isn't visible use this link.

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  1. Dave H.9:02 AM

    Another good article on this topic is from the Freakonomics blog ( I was surprised to learn that as a country, the US has gone from 8 percent single mom households to 23 percent in 2010, and that it's harder on sons than daughters.

  2. Anonymous1:59 PM

    Dave...believe it or not, it's equally hard on daughters because they desperately need a father to model what they should look for in a man, boyfriend, husband and potential father for their children. I work with many teen boys and girls and the hurt the feel from an absent father is the same. If their father's only's not about the's more important than the kind of job they have or the relationship (or lack thereof) with the mother...all the child wants to know is that their father loves and cares for them.


Your response to this blog post is appreciated and welcome.