Description (from areallmenpedophiles.com):
For the first time a documentary examines the global impact of pedophilia from a cultural and professional perspective. We live in a society that condemns pedophiles, though biological instinct and world cultures throughout history suggest that an attraction to adolescents is as natural as it is unavoidable. The fashion industry on the one hand sexualizes ever-younger girls while those who act on these instincts are reviled. The apparent hypocrisy at the heart of society forces the question: What do we mean when we talk about Pedophilia? The film explores the many dangers children face and exposes the systematic violation of children rights by societies, presenting the testimony of both victims and perpetrators. It also looks at how the pedophilia hysteria that has led to the mass incarceration adults and children. In conclusion, we are faced with both the contradiction of a society which fetishizes youth and the question: Are All Men Pedophiles?
Written and Directed by Jan-Willem Breure
Here’s a movie about a subject that everyone loves to talk about. Did the sarcasm come through in the written word… oh, wait, I forgot: ;p ARE ALL MEN PEDOPHILES? is a documentary about exactly what you think it is about; the title says it all. Before watching the movie I had no idea, other than what I gleaned from the title, about this movie whatsoever, so I really wasn’t sure what I was getting into. Would AAMP be a really sad story, filled with horrible stories from people who were abused as children, or would it be ultra-controversial and try to defend pedophilia, or would it just be fluff riding on the back of an attention grabbing title? Really, it was none of the above.
The film begins with (what I would have to assume is) an underage girl talking to the viewers, and almost immediately a statement is made that I really disagree with. “The age at which you find other people attractive does not change, instead it expands. When we are young we find children of our own age attractive, but as we grow older children under the age of 18 do not become less attractive.” I took this to basically mean as a 13-year-old you like other 13-year-olds, and since it just “expands,” by the time you’re 20 you now are attracted to 13 – 20-year-old people. Um, no. Nope. Don’t agree. I’m 33, and have been into girls since I was probably 10 or 11, and I am not attracted to ages 10 – 33. Not in the slightest. So right from the beginning of AAMP, the viewer is presented with a broad, generalized statement, which a lot of the meat of the argument is based on, and which I completely disagree with.
Once the “age of attraction” issue is brought up, there are other bits that go into the discussion AAMP is trying to have with its viewers. The next big thing is the age of consent. Here in the U.S., the age of consent varies between 16 and 18 depending on the state, and also depending on the age of both partners (you can have sex with a 16-year-old, as long as you’re not too much older than them, basically). AAMP presents a map of the world and asserts that the youngest age of consent is 9. I didn’t do a whole lot of research, so I’m not saying that’s wrong, but the lowest I could find was either puberty (Bolivia, some states in Mexico) or 12 (Angola, and again some states in Mexico). Truthfully, I was not too surprised when I found this discrepancy while fact checking. However, this is not the point raised in AAMP, the point is: what you see as pedophilia probably has a lot to do with what culture you were raised in. Here in the U.S. we usually think of any adult having sex with anyone under 18 as a “pedophile,” but if you were from Angola you probably wouldn’t have any issues with an adult being with a 15-year-old. Which I understand, and do agree with: how you were raised makes a big difference in how you will view “pedophilia.”
The next seemingly important issue raised in AAMP is the actual definition of “pedophilia.” In most western countries we see it as any adult that has sexual type relations with any under aged person, and AAMP is trying to make the point that “pedophilia” is not a term that used correctly. According to AAMP, “pedophilia” is attraction to pre-pubescent children, and is bookmarked by “infantophilia” on the younger end and “hebophilia” on the older side (post puberty but pre age of consent), but the film makes the point that most people think of anyone that is interested in children under the age of consent as pedophiles. While, ok, sure: maybe society uses the word incorrectly, my mind immediately went to “to-MAY-to, to-MAH-to.” Seriously, do we really need to get nitpicky about the words we use? Personally I’ve never had any first-hand experience with molestation or pedophilia, but I know of friends and family that have and I think that they would agree with me when I say: I don’t give two shits. It’s wrong to take advantage of children before they are old enough to really know and understand what they are getting into, whether you are a hebophile that likes 15-year-olds (gross), or a pedophile that likes 9-year-olds (even more disgusting), or an infantophile that likes 3-year-olds (blood’s boiling a bit at this point, “gross” doesn’t begin to define…). So yes, AAMP, we (western society in general) probably do use the term “pedophile” incorrectly, but this argument is without merit when you understand that all forms of it are wrong. Invalid argument. Move on.
So, as you can probably figure out by now, I really had a lot of problems with the logic and arguments presented in AAMP, but it was not all bad. There were some really powerful bits, especially the interviews with actual pedophiles (one of which is not afraid to show his face, to my surprise) and victims of pedophilia. There were some really smart, educated people behind some of the points raised. There were some slick graphics and nice re-creations. There is some decent filmmaking going on with AAMP, though I think the logic is greatly flawed.
Breure had access to decent equipment; the camera work was shot in beautiful HD and the lighting was well done in both the interview and non-interview parts of AAMP. The sound quality was decent overall, though there were some bits where it wasn’t as good as others, especially some of the narration. AAMP also has some really nice graphics and presentations, and overall were well done. However, there was a lack of attention to detail in the filmmaking that I noticed that really made all of the polished bits seem more saccharine. For example, in the opening there is a small “screen” within the screen that shows some man-on-the-street interviews about the subject, and for most of its presentation the edges of this screen are smooth, but for the last few seconds that smoothing effect disappears and the edge is instantly crisp. Another example of this inattention to detail, which has to be the biggest and most glaring: Breure misspells his own name in the post-script to the film! He comes on screen post credits to personally answer the question posed in the movie, and he is listed as “Jan-Willem Beure.” It’s little bits like that that make me feel like this is an amateur film pretending to be a professional production.
Overall, I just could not get into AAMP. It is a pretty film with good video quality and slick graphics, but I disagreed with most of what it had to say. Like the expanding age of attraction: it seems to not take into account the difference between “attractive” and “attracted to.” I can see a teenager and think she is attractive, that does not mean I am attracted to her. I am straight, but secure enough in my sexuality to see a guy and say to my wife “that dude is really attractive,” but that does not mean I am attracted to him! AAMP seems to think that attractive and attracted are the same thing, and it is arguments like that that most pushed me away from enjoying the film, along with the inattention to detail, and the overall attitude of the film. “The most controversial film ever made,” says the poster… hardly. A controversial subject, sure. The film, and (from reading his IMDb entry) the filmmaker both think a lot more of AAMP than I think most people that will watch it. More than I thought of it, for sure. Not a bad movie, just not a movie for me and not the “breakthrough first film” it presents itself to be.
Overall 5 / 10
AAMP on the IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2072045/
AAMP is not for sale
AAMP site: http://areallmenpedophiles.com