Filmmaker, Advocate, and Non-profit Founder, The Representation Project
The Mask You Live In
Family Action Network (FAN) is pleased to announce the return of Director/Producer/Writer Jennifer Siebel Newsom (“Miss Representation”) to our area for the Chicago premiere of her brand-new film “The Mask You Live In.” Ms. Newsom will answer questions about the film on stage after the screening.
“The Mask You Live In” follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity. Pressured by the media, their peer group, and even the adults in their lives, the film’s protagonists confront messages encouraging them to disconnect from their emotions, devalue authentic friendships, objectify women, and resolve conflicts through violence. These gender stereotypes interconnect with race, class, and circumstance, creating a maze of identity issues boys and young men must navigate to become “real” men.
“The Mask You Live In” ultimately illustrates how we, as a society, can raise a healthier generation of boys and young men. In her Director’s Statement, Ms. Newsom states her intention: “First, let us expand what it means to be a man. Masculinity can be about more than physical force, sexual conquest and economic success. These stereotypes are hurting all of us. Second, let us as parents and mentors model a healthier form of masculinity. It’s up to us to give the next generation a positive representation of being a man that does not hinder their social-emotional growth. And finally, we have to support boys in being their whole selves — help boys connect their hearts to their heads so they can find the courage and conviction to stay true to themselves.”
In the film, experts in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, sports, education, and media weigh in, offering empirical evidence of the “boy crisis” and tactics to combat it. Stanford’s Philip Zimbardo, Ph.D. and Judy Chu, Ed.D., New York University’s Niobe Way, Ed.D., Pedro Noguera, Ph.D., and James Gilligan, MD, psychologist and author Michael Thompson, Ph.D., Common Sense Media’s James Steyer, psychologist, author, 2-time FAN speaker, and FAN Advisory Council member Madeline Levine, Ph.D., and SUNY-Stony Brook’s Michael Kimmel, Ph.D., to name just a few, are all featured in the film.