THE DANGEROUS DANCE
A documentary film for men about sex, love and trauma
The Dangerous Dance is a film that celebrates the intimacy and fulfilment that rewards the successful modern relationship. It also looks at the pain and long-term damage that can result when the romantic dream turns into an abusive nightmare.
A significant number of men are not responding well to women’s demands for equality. We talk frankly with victims, abusers, theorists and therapists as we dig below the surface. We investigate the psychological complexity of the dark and often violent backlash against the progress of the women’s movement over the last 50 years.
We’re aiming at persuading these men to see the crucial psychological dimensions of the problems they are facing.
Many men are struggling with issues of identity and self esteem.
Many men feel beaten down by women’s success and threats to their masculinity. The instincts that are central to their identity are increasingly seen as toxic.
This situation is complicated by mixed messages from a culture still in transition away from the gender inequality of the past. Pop culture heroes are still widely admired for their stoic invulnerability and their routine use of violence and force to settle conflicts.
When unconscious and unexamined childhood trauma is added to the mix the result for an increasing number of men is a volatile, angry and sometimes violent overreaction to seemingly routine events. The men responsible are often at a loss to understand what happened so they make up post-rationalisations that are wildly off the mark.
There is no shortage of online groups that provide easy answers for men in this situation. Online bubbles invariably find someone to blame and a willing audience for a tirade of righteous anger directed at ‘them’.
Few would argue that social media encourages us to be ‘liked’ to be approved of, to be seen to be good and right. This is an essentially narcissistic position, devoid of any honest communication. Internet culture is also highly adversarial, polarised and superficial.
It’s a sad reality that most of us are far more conscious of the workings of our smartphone than we are of our own souls. The crucial discoveries of Freud and Jung are generally ignored in the dumbed down culture of social media. This is not a good thing for any of us. Even the most basic levels of counselling encourage us to look inside for the source of our pain and anger rather than living with soul destroying levels of resentment and abusive behaviour.
‘Tell me about your childhood’ seems to many of us like a tired cliché from an old Hollywood movie yet recent research confirms that the early years of life set us up for success or failure in adulthood. Our brain development depends on what we experience in our earliest years. If we are unable to work through adverse childhood experiences and take advantage of the latest findings about brain plasticity we are doomed to never leave our childhood limitations behind.
In this light it is possible see that a lot of the modern man’s fear of feminism is actually a deep unconscious longing to remain a mother’s son. Many men unconsciously seek a wife who will mother them. For many men it’s necessary to engage and heal the angry and needy child within. Only when this task is underway can an authentic world of emotions open up and vulnerability and intimacy become possible.
The aim of The Dangerous Dance is to bring some awareness to these issues in the hope of not only reducing abuse in general, but also cast a more positive light on ‘doing the work’ of becoming aware of our psycho-spiritual journey.
We have already begun recording the stories of men and women who have made the difficult journeys through abuse to self-awareness and found the deep rewards that are the result.
If you have a story to tell that fits this project and are willing to share it please contact us.