Frank, Jeffry, Benji and Me

26mins | 2007 | DocumentaryNR
In FRANK, JEFFRY, BENJI and ME, documentary filmmaker Joshua Wilkinson chronicles his own struggle to make peace across four generations of men in his family. Can he reconcile the great social achievements of his activist father and grandfather with the hypocrisy of their less-than-perfect personal behavior? As a father to five-year-old Benji, Joshua begins the journey with this question: Can I make peace within my family, and learn from the mistakes made by my elders? Ninety-year-old Frank was a hero of the Civil Rights Movement?but was also an egotistical, negligent father to Joshua's father Jeffry. And Joshua also courageously confronts Jeffry for physically abusing his mother, despite a background as a peace and social justice activist. Finally, in a humorous yet touching twist, Benji 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, this film poignantly reveals the need for love, comprehension and forgiveness in fatherhood.
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