Boys and toxic masculinity explored in the film 'Brotherhood'

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Image: Richard Bell and Karma Film. Used with permission

What would it be like to be stranded and lost out on a lake or the sea on a stormy night? Can you imagine the mix of fear, tension and courage? It's in moments like these that our true colours shine -- or not.

Based on the harrowing true story that made newspaper headlines across North America in the 1920s, Brotherhood is a taut survival drama that feels timely and modern in this era of what some are calling "a very real boy crisis." It's a forgotten piece of Canadian history that is a clarion call for a return to nature, as wonderful and lethal as it may be.

The story centres around a band of teenaged boys who arrive at Long Point Camp on sprawling Balsam Lake for the ultimate Canadian experience -- two weeks of games, kite-making, lacrosse, sing-a-longs, marshmallow roasts, canoeing, swimming and adventure.

The group of young men set off across the lake in a 30-foot war canoe with the unofficial band of brothers' leader Waller and 10 of his companions. When they encounter a freak summer storm and are capsized in the middle of the churning lake, the brotherhood's holiday descends into a soul-shuddering fight for survival. Only four will survive.

Face2Face host David Peck talks to Richard Bell about his new film, dignity and self-sacrifice, putting others before ourselves, rites of passage, real boys and toxic masculinity.

About the director:

Richard Bell got his start in the industry by writing and directing the micro-budgeted indie Two Brothers. It was shot for $545 and went on to gross $150,000 on DVD.  He is a graduate of Studio 58, the only conservatory-style theatre training program in Western Canada. One of his notable film credits Eighteen, which he wrote and directed. It was shot in 20 days and made with only $800,000. It co-starred acting titans Ian McKellen and Alan Cumming, and featured a score by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Bell also co-wrote the song "In a Heartbeat" for the film with composer Bramwell Tovey, for which he received a Genie award nomination. Eighteen hopscotched the world at film festivals and was broadcast on City TV and Movie Central and the Movie Network.  More recently, he co-executive produced Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet for producer Kim Roberts. The film stars Cameron Monaghan, Peyton List and Juliette Lewis. Bell is an alumnus of the TIFF Talent Lab, the Praxis Centre for Screenwriters' Screenwriting Lab, and the CFC's Writers' Workshop at the Whistler Film Festival.

Image: Richard Bell and Karma Film. Used with permission

F2F Music: David Peck and Face2Face.

For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here. With thanks to Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

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