What does it mean to be a man in 2023? About 30 French speakers, between the ages of thirty and forty-five, are trying to answer the question posed by Vaud director Céline Pernet in “Garçonnières”, broadcast on Wednesday on RTS. The film was born out of the anthropologist’s urgent desire to open a dialogue with the men of his generation.
The documentary “Garçonnières”: it is about sixty men known through a classified ad on social networks, three hours of interviews per person and 26 preserved testimonies. The dialogue between the director and her interlocutors highlights, with great humor, the gap between what society expects of everyone and what individuals deeply desire. It also testifies to a generation in search of new ways of operating.
>> Watch the full documentary (available until March 3, 2023):
After several years of crazy adventures, feminist readings and love failures, I’m tired of pretending. I am at a point in my life where I need to understand how our relationships are built.
A rare and intimate word
If the word of men is very present in the public space, it is much less when it comes to talking about vulnerability, suffering or intimacy. The evidence responds to the need to talk about this topic in particular, as one of the film’s protagonists explains: “We destroy toxic models of masculinity and that’s great, but where is the inspiring masculinity? We’ve run away from the man who took it all space and crushed them all in no man’s word. Today, if I had the choice between being predatory or invisible.”
For Gilles Crettenand, coordinator of the association MenCare in French-speaking Switzerland, the film reminds us that the patriarchal system also makes men suffer: “Even if the advantages of being a man in a patriarchal system are undeniable, the suffering of those who do . are not found in the ‘classic’ model of the Alpha male are not heard.” The association offers support and listening to men and fathers who are looking for new ways of working. “The challenge for new generations of men is to define their masculinity outside of age-old models of hegemonic masculinity.”
Free yourself from expectations
Don’t cry, protect your wife and family, provide financial income, there is a long and difficult struggle… These orders given to men really exist. They emerge clearly from the interviews conducted in the homes of the protagonists, who trust him, on the other hand, from their kitchen or living room. “Garçonnières” testifies with openness and humor about the difficulty of meeting expectations and sometimes even breaking free from them.
RTS documentaries, Muriel Reichenbach
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