Men: A Love Story 2016
Distributed by Women Make Movies, 115 W. 29th Street, Suite 1200,New York, NY, 10001; 212-925-0606
Directed by Mimi Chakarova
DVD , color, 88 min.
Divorce, Human Relations, Marriage, Sexuality, Storytelling, Traveling
Date Entered: 07/13/2018Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA
Journalist and filmmaker, Bulgarian-American Mimi Chakarova, spent years covering sex trafficking. Her 2011 documentary, The Price of Sex, exposed the political corruption and moral decay surrounding the sex slave industry, particularly in Eastern Europe. While the film and her investigative work won her numerous human rights awards, the experience affected Chakarova on a deep emotional level. Filled with animosity and distrust, she decides to turn her previous work on its ear and talk to men not about sex but about love. With that starting point, she traverses the United States asking men the simple but difficult question: what is love?
Beginning in Death Valley, California, Chakarova’s multi-year voyage of discovery brings her in to contact with more than 60 men. Young and old, rich and poor, rural and urban, married and single, from the west to the east and the north to the south, American men responded to the question. Some of the brief vignettes are philosophical, poetic, and poignant, while others are pragmatic, bitter, or apathetic. Although no clear definition emerges, it’s in the telling of each man’s own love story that Chakarova finds what she needs.
Loosely structured into chapters, the film is skillfully filmed by Chakarova and Stefania Rousselle. Short animations by Jessica Poon and Jane Kim fill in interviewee storylines. Recommended for gender studies courses and general audiences.