Why Do So Many Dads Walk Out on Their Families?

Throughout June 2013, film-maker Justin Hunt toured around Australia showing his award winning documentary Absent which is about the impact of fathers and children in society. It opens with a very powerful line which I have taken from the official website;

A must see documentary that will change the way fathers will see their role in their family
A must see documentary that will change the way fathers will see their role in their family

“Have you ever considered that your father is the first person to either choose you or not, and the answer to the question ‘Am I good enough’ will undoubtedly affect you and those around you for the rest of your life and theirs”.

On the day that it screened at an inner city movie theatre in Sydney I was flying back from an overnight business trip I had in Melbourne. Justin was appearing at this screening for a question and answer session. Sadly it was shown between 3pm and 5pm when most fathers, myself included, would be at work.

The next screening that I could have gone to was a lot closer to me, just a 15 minute drive from home, but it was on a Saturday during the day, and as those who are regular readers of my blog will know, Saturday is the day my wife works and I spend the day with just me and the boys. It would have been somewhat ironic for me to send them to be looked after by my brother and his wife whilst I attended a movie on absent fathers. As a result, I knew the DVD was to be released at the end of the tour so I waited until then and bought it.

The movie is for sale online or in in store through some of the top named Christian bookshops. At first I was a little perturbed to say the least that it wasn’t available elsewhere – being an Atheist and all – but really, I didn’t mind where I bought it from as the point was I really wanted to see it. I was driving past one of these bookshops on my way back from seeing a customer so I stopped in. It was a few days before Father’s Day, and although my wife had asked me if there was anything special that I wanted for Father’s Day, I really wanted to buy this movie for myself. I was just something I felt I had to do.

I recently wrote a blog about how listening to heavy metal makes me a better father. At the time I wasn’t aware of just how big a part that James Hetfield from Metallica played in this documentary. I don’t need to go into detail about his interview as I have embedded it within this post below. I am torn though; if his father hadn’t walked out on his family, if his family life had been better, and if his mother hadn’t died when he was so young we might have ever seen the likes of Metallica. And for me, the world would be poorer for that absence.

And even though I have embedded the interview with James Hetfield which I am sure many people, especially Metallica fans would have been drawn to, I would highly recommend you seeking out where you can buy the whole movie on DVD. I bought mine in store at Koorong and you can purchase it online by clicking here. I do not have a commercial agreement with the producer or distributor of this film, and it sort of goes without saying that I do not have a commercial agreement with Koorong or any Christian book-store, but they are the places selling the DVD in the country so I encourage you to visit their shops and online stores.

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