Finally, after five years and numerous film festivals, ``Boyhood Shadows'' gets a hearing – and seeing – on television. KQED, a San Francisco PBS station, airs the documentary on sexual abuse of boys Wednesday night (June 26) at 10 p.m. Beginning in July, it will be available to public television stations across the country.
The film, by Mac and Ava Motion Pictures (filmmakers Steve Rosen and Terri DeBono) of Monterey, California, has been out there since it premiered at the Steinbeck Forum in Monterey some five years ago, with fanfare and critical praise.
It is a powerful, moving film, artistically made.
Yet it couldn't find a home, despite the fact Rosen and DeBono have made more than a half-dozen award-winning documentaries that have been telecast frequently (disclosure: they made two documentaries I wrote).
Of course pedophilia is a touchy subject, but more than that it is one that people prefer not to talk about, which of course paves the way for predators. This is a film that can save kids, because it warns against lack of communication between children and their parents when something that is going on needs to be addressed. As the film points out, parents can be at fault by refusing to listen to their children or not heeding signs of abuse.
The film could save thousands of kids, boys and girls, and if it had been telecast four or five years ago the abuse at Penn State would likely have been exposed much sooner. And no telling how many individual tragic cases could have been avoided. According to national statistics, one in six boys is sexually abused.
The boys – now men – who speak out in ``Boyhood Shadows'' show amazing courage. All are still fighting demons.
Certainly KQED and PBS deserve credit for telecasting ``Boyhood Shadows,'' though it's too bad it had to take this long. Still, it had been turned down elsewhere again and again. So give public television credit for courage. The showing tonight is a beginning, and there's no doubt a lot of kids will lead less traumatic lives because of it.
The ``Boyhood Shadows'' trailer:
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