Jennifer Siebel Newsom follows 'Miss Representation' via a look at the social expectations surrounding masculinity.

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Thought-provoking principles about the ill mental and also sociological impacts developed by expectations of “masculinity” are undermined by rambling and also at times glib argumentation in “The Mask You Live In,” director Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s follow-approximately “Miss Representation,” which examined sexism directed toward women. Educational venues reexisting the most most likely future for what is basically an outreach doc, although some of the points made cry out for sharpening or elaboration.

The movie’s title takes its cue from a George Orwell quotation on the actions presumed of an imperialist: “He wears a mask, and also his confront grows to fit it.” The pic opens via former NFL protective lineguy (and currently motivational speaker) Joe Ehrmann stating just how playing footsphere was his method of reflecting off the “hypermasculinity” he felt obligated to show. These expectations take root early: Sociologist Michael Kimmel claims that a certain way to get boys fighting on an Amerihave the right to playground is to call someone a sissy. Political scientist Caroline Heldman claims that the concept of masculinity is tied up via a “rejection of everything that is feminine.”


The film successfully highlights the unexamined effects of the language associated through maleness (“guy up” or “be a man”). Many points are reinforced with television and film clips (including one from “Whiplash” — it’s here already). With bell-curve graphs depicted onscreen, psychologist Michael G. Thompson says that if you gave the exact same mental tests to girls and also boys, the responses would overlap by 90% — indicating that the sexes have a lot more in widespread than not. The movie looks at stereoforms surrounding athletic and also financial success; psychologist Madeline Levine states she’s seen 8-year-old boys that say they want to become undertaking capitalists. A few of the more compelling, activity-propelled footage encounters the teaching work-related of Ashanti Branch, an educator who started an Oakland, Calif.-based youth-advocacy team.

Title cards existing a riches of statistics, but without citations; some of the even more specious-sounding data only raise questions around the validity of the movie’s assertions. For example: “Every day three or more boys commit suicide.” Is that national or global? Over what time span was that number drawn?

Siebel Newsom (who is married to The golden state Lt. Gov.Gavin Newsom) gives her doc an virtually unwieldy scope; masculinity is examined in relation to drinking, homophobia, depression, bullying, the stigmatization of male intimacy, crime, videogames, porn and also campus sexual assault. (Siebel Newsom is an executive producer on Kirby Dick’s documentary “The Hunting Ground,” also screened at Sundance.) In general, the testimony from specialists — that include the ubiquitous Stanford prichild experiment psychologist Philip Zimbarexecute — is even more illuminating than the many kind of clips of boys and grown men sharing anecdotes about their fathers and also upbringings. Several of the interviewees might also have beenrandomly selected.

And while the movie notes that mass shooters tfinish to be male, also though Amerideserve to woguys grow up through easy accessibility to firearms, employing news clips of the Aurora movie-theater shooting (among other violent incidents) prior to the opening credits just says from the get-go that “The Mask You Live In” has bit usage for complexity. Reductive and also sensationalistic correlations detract from the movie’s salient points.


A sprightly score from Eric Holland also and the parade of talking heads against blinding-white backdrops improve the edu-doc/TV commercial vibe.


Film Review: ‘The Mask You Live In’

Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (Documentary Premieres), Jan. 23, 2015. Running time: 90 MIN.

Production:(Documentary) A presentation of the Representation Project in association via Regina K. Scully. (Internationwide sales: Submarine, New York/Preferred Content, Los Angeles.) Produced by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Jessica Anthony, Jessica Congdon. Executive producers, Maria Shriver, Geralyn Dreyfous, Abigail Disney, Wendy Schmidt, Novo Foundation, Sarah E. Johnson, Scully.

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Crew:Directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom. Written by Siebel Newsom, Jessica Congdon. Camera (shade, HD), John Behrens; editor, Congdon; music, Eric Holland; music supervisor, Andrea von Foerster; sound, Phil Turner; supervising sound editor, Holland also, Zach Martin; re-recording mixer, Martin; line producers, Jessica Anthony, Debbie Brubaker (consulting), Wendi Gilbert (early); associate producers, Annenberg Foundation, Brin Wojcicki Foundation, Dani Fishmale, Charlie Hartwell, Maureen Pelton, Amy Rao, Amy Zucchero, Barbara Bridges, Kathleen Janus, Ted Janus, Laura Fisher, John Fisher, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Peery Foundation, Susie Tompkins Buell.With:Joe Ehrmann, Michael Kimmel, Caroline Heldmale, Tony Porter, Lise Eliot, Michael G. Thompboy, William Pollack, Madeline Levine, Judy Y. Chu, Pedro Noguera, Ashanti Branch, Philip Zimbarperform, Ashly Burch, Jim Steyer, Jackkid Katz. Music By: