Christopher P. Anderson in Father: the Figure and the Force has written: “The father-child bond has always been shrouded in mystery, obscured by the Norman Rockwell image of the benign patriarch at the head of the dinner table. We must undertake to solve the Rubrik’s Cube that is every person’s relationship with his or her father. That is the magic: not that we can ever make that Norman Rockwell painting come to life, but that in finally coming to terms with our real feelings for our fathers, we can truly make this generation — and maybe even the next — a generation of genuinely liberated men and women.”
In honor of Father’s Day, we have selected some films available on DVD that help us come to terms with our feelings for our fathers. Call this a festival on the father-child bond. The films are arranged in alphabetical order.
Bee Season is an engrossing family drama about the destructiveness of a father’s spiritual pride and the healing that results when he discovers the power of selfless love.
Big Fish is a heartfelt drama with zany and oftentimes outrageous sequences that revolve around a son who wants to know the real facts about his father’s life after hearing an unending tide of phantasmagorical tales about his experiences.
Boyz N the Hood is a riveting tale about an African-American father in a violent South Central Los Angeles neighborhood who teaches his son about respect, responsibility, sex, and how to restrain himself during violent encounters.
Dad explores the changes in the relationship between a high-powered investment banker and his elderly father; it reveals the struggles some men have in expressing emotion and intimacy.
Daddy Nostalgia is a French film that circles around the soft edges of a father-daughter reunion after years apart.
Dan In Real Life is a smart and sassy film about a man who is surprised by love and then is able to open up to his children in new ways.
Evelyn is a beautiful tribute to fatherhood; set in Ireland in 1953, it is about a man who wants nothing more than to be present in his children’s lives.
Grace Is Gone is a tender and touching movie about a father who learns how to nurture his daughters while in the midst of grief.
He Got Game focuses on the fate of a razzle-dazzle African-American high-school basketball star and his reconciliation with his estranged father who taught him everything he knows about the game.
Nothing in Common centers on the struggles of a father and son to develop a meaningful relationship after years of indifference toward each other.
Martian Child is a comedy masterwork that touches the heart with its portrait of the survival tactics of an abandoned orphan and the loving ministrations of a widowed science fiction writer who adopts him.
The Pursuit of Happyness centers around a hard-pressed African-American single parent and his five-year old son as they struggle to survive and fulfill the American dream in San Francisco in 1981.
The Snapper is an Irish family drama that contains an unforgettable portrait of a loving dad who is his daughter’s knight in shining armor.
Sunflower is a Chinese film that offers a compelling examination of a rocky and turbulent father-son relationship covering three decades.
The War is an engaging and inspiring drama about the efforts of a father to teach his children the ideals he believes give life meaning and purpose.