My Own Man

Directed by David Sampliner

Rattled by the prospect of becoming a dad, a 40-year-old filmmaker begins to consider what "manhood" really means for him, prompting him to pursue an array of interests and reexamine his views -- which were shaped by his father.


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  • ★★★★★ review by Marcio Sallem on Letterboxd

    Uou, estou surpreso: o que começa como uma jornada divertidamente autodepreciativa em busca da masculinidade subdesenvolvida logo toma direção surpreendentemente distinta para narrar, com imensa sensibilidade, o relacionamento entre pais e filhos de forma acessível e universal e a responsabilização de quem é determinante por sermos as pessoas que somos hoje: nós mesmos.

  • ★★★★½ review by Dan Binns on Letterboxd

    None too sure what to expect from this, I dove in head first. I found myself struck by the honesty of this documentary, and the engaging character of its protagonist. A neat video essay on growing up, coming of age, and a gentle rebuttal against the universal quest of every man to garner his father's approval.

  • ★★★★½ review by Jeremy B on Letterboxd

    Wading in a sea of insecurity and confusion, David Sampliner set out to discover who he is, and maybe explain why he is who he is. Masculinity is not an easy thing to learn, it's kind of something you're born with. He touches on this a few times, but it's not something so tangible as shooting a deer or going camping with your buddies. It's a state of mind and simply not caring about others opinions of you. You do the thing because you want to do it, not for any other reason.

    In this way, My Own Man is more than just a documentary about his life, but rather a look at masculinity as a whole for people who grew up with fathers like Davids and an upbringing that was so hard for him that he seems to be just lost in it.

    At the same time, David is having a child and he has great internal monologues about what it will do for him. Will he suddenly become a man? Will he be able to handle the pressure?

    I very much identified with David, coming from a similar family and feeling the self doubt sometimes. I took an easy path and sometimes I feel like I'm not who I say I am--just as David's brother speaks about faking confidence. He says something along the lines of, "If I was put in a room with one other person I'm not sure how confident I would be."

    And it's a great look at this sometimes overlooked aspect of being a man. Being a man comes with this connotation of being tough and playing sports and being confident. "My Own Man" explores this in a delicate outsider type of way, and the emotional conclusion really exclaims that masculinity is changing with the times.

  • ★★★★½ review by Carolina on Letterboxd

    Es una historia que comienza desde el miedo de convertirse en papá, escarbando en recuerdos y buscando culpables en la infancia pero poco a poco se convierte en algo muy lindo. Me gustó la idea de desafiar lo que uno quiere y no dejar de buscarlo solo por el miedo de que algo no funcione.

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