‘The Work’ Will Challenge Your Views on Fatherhood and Masculinity

A must-see for all fathers.

Credit: The Work

A few days ago, I have been fortunate to attend the screening of a powerful documentary called The Work’The film follows three men as they participate in a group therapy retreat, inside a maximum security prison. As the three “civilians” join longterm inmates to take part in the introspective and vulnerable journey of emotional healing, powerful interactions occur along with long overdue catharsis. I don’t want this short piece to be a huge spoiler: more than a traditional review I would love to encourage as many men as possible to watch the movie.

Here are three main reasons why you should watch ‘The Work’.

1) ‘The Work’ demonstrates the power of vulnerability.

If you still believe that “real men” don’t cry, think again. The inmates that participate in the group therapy retreat check all of the boxes of hyper masculinity. Yet, these men are brave enough to go deep into their feelings and expose themselves entirely by revealing their unhealed emotional wounds in front of their male peers. Witnessing former gang members getting introspective, authentic and raw about their emotions is truly moving. It demonstrates the power of vulnerability and the desperate need of men for honoring and expressing their emotions. This is precisely what ‘The Work’ is all about.

2) The importance of fatherhood.

One recurring theme that comes up on the group therapy retreat is the one of fatherhood. From the absence of father figure or the mistakes of fathers, fatherhood is the source of pain and anger in the heart of those men. If you needed a reminder on the importance of “caregiving” role, (especially if you are raising a son), watching ‘The Work’ will show you firsthand the consequences of broken relationships between father and sons and the incredible pain it causes to countless of men.

3) ‘The Work’ will inspire you.

I really hope you watch this movie and that he will inspire you to rethink about the traditional and outdated criteria of manhood. I truly hope it will inspire you to improve your emotional literacy and to empower other men to do the same. It is time to heal. This documentary inspired me to get vulnerable myself and write the sonnet below; hoping it will resonate and challenge men to honor their emotion and authenticity.

‘The Work’: Official U.S. Trailer:

About ‘The Work’:

Set inside a single room in Folsom Prison, ‘The Work’ follows three men from the outside as they participate in a four-day group therapy retreat with level-four convicts. Over the four days, each man in the room takes his turn at delving deep into his past. The raw and revealing process that the incarcerated men undertake exceeds the expectations of the free men, ripping them out of their comfort zones and forcing them to see themselves and the prisoners in unexpected ways. ‘The Work’ offers a powerful and rare look past the cinder block walls, steel doors and the dehumanizing tropes in our culture to reveal a movement of change and redemption that transcends what we think of as rehabilitation. 

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