Being a teenager is hard for any and everybody; it’s a time of change and growing pains. On one hand, there’s curiousity; on the other, there is uncertainty.
In this short film, ‘Something I Wanted To Ask’ by Ng Yiqin, we see Andy, a teenage boy caught in between opposing sides of his parents – while struggling through his own understanding of masculinity.
Is Physical Violence A Mark Of A Man?
“When is it passion and when is it violence? When is it okay and when is it not? I asked these questions through the eyes of a young boy. I prefer to use this perspective as a young person’s views are often uninformed, fluid and open,” said director Ng Yiqin.
Yiqin wanted to showcase the thin line between passion and violence, which she does through Andy’s eyes.
Trigger warning: Contains scenes of domestic abuse and violence.
For Andy, it starts with an opinion he expresses only to be met with anger and disagreement from his schoolmates resulting in a schoolyard scuffle. Later that night, he eavesdrops and witnesses his parents fighting, with his father responding with combative aggression towards his mother.
Quietly pondering what it means to be a man, he discovers that relationships and masculinity carry a lot of nuance, and seem to find more examples of boys and men responding with violence and anger.
We Are Not Our Parents, But Are We Doomed To Be?
Andy, on the other hand, stands his ground with his words instead of fists. When Andy’s father playfully teases him about his long hair making him “look like a girl”, Andy is defiant when he expresses that he likes it and that’s his own preference for his own hair.
Our formative years begs us to answer important questions about who we are, and the truth is that answers aren’t only found in our parents. Even though he’s influenced by his father, Andy needed to decide for himself what masculinity meant for him, and who he was. It may be a lot to handle, but that’s just part of growing up.
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