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In this moving follow-up to the critically-acclaimed Hoop Dreams, award-winning filmmaker Frederick Marx continues his exploration of the lives of ordinary young men and the extraordinary challenges they face. Boys to Men? - the second in a proposed trilogy about masculinity in America - trains its focus on the pressures and expectations faced by a diverse group of young urban males. The series consists of four films:

  • Are You Listening? features several teenage boys from different ethnic, racial, and class backgrounds offering fascinating insights into their own experiences and the meaning of manhood in American.
  • Three additional pieces - Spencer, Cisco and Al-Tran - give insight into the lives of three 15-year-old boys as they navigate the daily challenges of school, family, and American society.

"Frederick Marx, a co-writer and editor of 1994's much-honored Hoop Dreams, directed this short documentary (one of three in the Boys to Men? series) about a 15-year-old, fatherless boy named Al-Tran, who leads a rudderless existence under the watchful eye of his single mother. Despite the latter's best efforts, support and guidance from his school - an all-boys prep academy - and Al-Tran's own talents as an actor and poet, the thoughtful young man cannot overcome chronic depression and low self-esteem, which he attributes to growing up without a dad. Marx's fly-on-the-wall camera captures the sad decline of Al-Tran's hopes and spirit as he drops out of school and attempts to find a path in life, while interviews with him, his mom, teachers, and others offer insights into the potential problems of being raised without same-sex mentors. A compassionate and cautionary film... Recommended." - Video Librarian

Running Time
144 mins
Nb videos
4 videos included