Frank, Jeffry, Benji and Me

Frank, Jeffry, Benji and Me
25:46 | 2007

Categories: Shorts, Biography

Joshua Wilkinson (27), documentary filmmaker and the youngest of the Wilkinson fathers, struggles to find the middle ground between these two extremes. He contemplates the great achievements of his father and grandfather and the complementary hypocrisy behind their family history. As a new father of 5-year-old Benji, Joshua begins this journey with the simple question: Can I make peace in this family, and learn from the mistakes made by my father and grandfather? It is easy to see Jeffry's fierce anger toward his aging father Frank (90), a hero of the Civil Rights Movement; to his son, (62), Frank was a negligent father and an egotist. In an effort to hold up a mirror to Jeffry, Joshua courageously confronts Jeffry for physically abusing his mother despite a background as an activist for peace and social justice.

Finally, in a humorous yet touching twist, Benji (6) confronts his dad, asking Joshua to simply put the camera down and pay him the attention he deserves. By exposing unanswered explanations, demanding unspoken apologies, and finding meaning behind unresolved hostilities, the film poignantly reveals the need for love, comprehension and forgiveness in fatherhood.


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