“Five Friends” filmmaker

October 16, 2013

What did you learn about this filmmaker and his film?  Exactly what was the issue?  Why did he think it was important?  Did he show any clips?  Overall, how did you react?  What was good and bad about the evening?



  1. I learned that the filmmaker, Hank Mandel, has held many other jobs in his life through which he has met the “five friends” the film centers around. He feels very strongly about the importance of male friendships, and the film was made partly because one of his friends was having concerns about how to raise his newly born son. The issue of the film was the importance of strong, male-to-male friendships that span over many years. Mandel believes male friendships are important because they offer a piece of life that no woman can give, and that they are key to truly discovering everything about yourself (if you are male). During the series, the first twenty minutes to half an hour of the film “Five Friends” was shown during which we met two of the five. My reaction to the presentation was very strange. In a way, I understood where he was coming from with the importance of men having male friends, but I felt rather insulted at the same time when he said women weren’t as important. The program also seemed, to me at least, more aimed at the men in the room which left the women wondering where they came into the conversation. Hank Mandel is a wonderful speaker, and the film was interesting and beautifully filmed, so it was enjoyable to see a piece of it and to hear him speak, however, as a female, I did feel a bit out of place during several parts of the discussion although I am certain that was not his intention. I was inspired by the man himself, and the film was beautiful at the same time as raising a very important issue, but I believe that males most likely gained more from the evening than the females did.

  2. One of the things that I learned through Hank Mandel’s experience is that it is very important to have close male friendships in your life. You need friends who you can trust and who can be there for you when times are tough, like his experiences. He ended up showing the first part of the film which was very interesting. He went back and interviewed some of his friends and asked how long they have known him for and how long they have all been friends. It was really neat seeing all the friends he has made along the way and how they have shaped and affected his life. The presentation took an awkward tone for me when he started to discuss when he was molested and the person asking the question, whom he is friends with, persisted upon it. I thought we were there to learn about friendships and he began discussing being molested at a camp, when he was done talking about it he thanked his friend for being there for him though, which was very nice. Other than that one incident I don’t think there was very much bad about the evening was very good overall and I would much like to see the documentary he made.

  3. The issue in this film is male friendships and how they generally lack a lot of depth to them. Through the few clips that we were shown my general understanding is that this film focuses on Hank’s significant male friendships throughout the movie, with various points of discussion about male friendships and their importance throughout. The film asks a lot of important questions in regards to men and why they seem almost afraid to engage in such friendships. I obviously learned a lot about Hank’s life not only through the clips, but through his speech and discussion that followed. He is a very interesting man who has seen and experienced a lot throughout his lifetime. I had a very positive reaction towards the film as I thought, from the clips that we watched, that it raised a lot of very intriguing questions that are often times swept under the rug and not discussed. It is a very interesting topic to think about and is very eye opening for not only men, but women also. The bad part of the evening would have been not being able to watch the entire movie, although there was another designated day and time for that. The good was without a doubt hearing Hank explain his thoughts and feelings through his speech and by answering questions from the people in attendance.

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