Written, produced and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, The Mask You Live In follows a diverse group of boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity.
Pressured by the media, their peer group, and even the adults in their lives, our protagonists confront messages encouraging them to disconnect from their emotions, devalue authentic friendships, objectify and degrade women, and resolve conflicts through violence. These gender stereotypes interconnect with race, class, and circumstance, creating a maze of identity issues boys and young men must navigate to become “real” men.
Experts in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, sports, education, and media also weigh in, offering empirical evidence of the “boy crisis” and tactics to combat it.
The Mask You Live In ultimately illustrates how we, as a society, can raise a healthier generation of boys and young men.
Since its premiere at Sundance 2015, the film has been booked to screen in 23 states and seven countries (including the U.S.), and over 500 schools have purchased the film rights for use with students and parents. The film received coverage on the Today show, which featured Newsom with two of the film’s key subjects. Newsom and Maria Shriver collaborated on an op-ed for Time magazine that discussed the important subject of masculinity as examined in the film.
Film Screening to be followed by a brief panel discussion.