When we were first told about this film, my first thought was, “here we go again with another film depicting Black Men in a way that counters what we now know in research about the engagement of Black Fathers.” So as always when I receive a film/documentary I sat in front of my computer with a preconceived notion about what I was about to see. Five minutes in I believed my intuition was being confirmed. As a result, I started to get distract by other things that was going on in my office. 15 minutes in, the film started to peek my curiosity. At the 30 minute mark, I couldn’t turn away.
The film confirmed for me as a fatherhood advocate how important it is to tell and portray the entire storyline. You can do this in film; which is why I love it so much. In less than 30 minutes it pulled me into a space of normalcy. The familiar life that we come to experience and witness being Black in America. It seemed like in an instance I was caught in that uncomfortable space of self reflection. Almost a feeling of being trapped in a world you’re trying to forget or avoid, as a mother or a father.
We have a long way to go in teasing apart the long and historical narrative of black families. This film won’t tell it all, however it is a damn great start as a tool to help build on the storyline already being told in the responsible fatherhood movement.
Winner of the 2015 American Black Film Festival Screenplay Competition sponsored by TV One, Bad Dad Rehab is about four men who are fathers to their children, but not dads. Shawn (Wesley Jonathan) wants to see his kids, but his vengeful ex-wife wants the back child support he owes first. Tristan (Robert R’ichard) would rather pay out of pocket for a pair of designer sneakers than a fraction of that for his child’s winter coat. Jared (Rob Riley) is a single guy who prefers to pay child support instead of pay attention to his teenage daughter. And rounding out the crew is Pierre (Rick Gonzalez) who just doesn’t give a damn about his son – period. After turbulence with their respective baby mamas and ex-wives force them to take definitive action, the guys sign up for Deadbeat Dad Rehab to help them get their act together. Through all the hilarity, hijinks, drama and soul-searching, the guys discover that fatherhood is less about making babies, and more about becoming men.
TV One, BobbCat Films and Malik Yoba created a winner with this film. As always, we (Fathers Incorporated) will be curious to see how it resonates amongst our community. Based on what we see already in the social media space, folks are already revealing remnants of the same exact pain and anger displayed in this movie as a result of fatherlessness. We look forward to continuing our work to help address, embrace and find solutions to the issues that impact so many of children and families.
If you are in Atlanta:
Fathers Incorporated is working with TV ONE. Bobbcat Films and Malik Yoba to host a VIP screening of Bad Dad ReHab on Wednesday, June 29th at 7:30pm (Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Dr. NE) in Atlanta.
The screening is hosted by MALIK YOBA. A Q&A with cast members and Producer Roger Bobb immediately following the screening
The film highlights four men challenged with the responsibility of fatherhood. It is one of the best films we’ve seen depicting the wide myriad of issues the mothers and fathers face with co-parenting. As we did, you will laugh, think and cry at the transformation that takes place within these families.
The project was filmed entirely in the City of Atlanta and recently shown in Miami at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF).
You MUST RSVP by emailing your NAME, EMAIL ADDRESS AND PHONE# to firstname.lastname@example.org