I am writing this on a flight between Townsville and Cairns, North Queensland, Australia. I am currently on tour with the ‘Absent’ movie and its director Justin Hunt. I say movie because the film is one hour and 29 minutes long and is a brilliant and well crafted expose on the importance of fathers and the effects of fatherlessness. Justin Hunt is a young 36 year old filmmaker who is a passionate supporter of the restoration of fatherhood and the need to address the epidemic of fatherlessness currently afflicting the western world. Listening to his story as I conduct the Q & A each night has been both inspiring and illuminating. A child of the wonderful mother and father who divorced when Justin was only five years old, he well knows the pain that children of the western world are facing today. Perhaps the importance of fathers was further highlighted by the pain of his own very public marriage breakdown, and the nine years he invested as a single father. Justin has only recently remarried and is a very committed father to his children and new stepson.
We started the Absent Premiere movie tour at the Dendy Cinema, Newtown (Sydney) on 13 June 2013 and we have now reached our 11th screening. The Absent ‘Get Fatherhood Back’ Tour has taken on a life of its own. We have reached thousands of people at screenings across Australia. The Absent Premiere Tour Facebook site has received 315,000 unique visitors. Justin Hunt has conducted dozens of media interviews and the message is getting out there. We need to encourage and strengthen the dads of Australia as this is the best way to help the children. We’ve even seen miracles in the media.
Last week Justin held a media interview with the largest commercial radio station in my home city of Wollongong. I warned him that it would probably only go for a few minutes as commercial radio has a terrible tendency to be very shallow. Just after the interview, I got a very excited phone call from one of the Good to Great course trainers in Wollongong telling me the real story about the interview. Marty and Bianca from i98fm had given the Absent movie absolutely amazing publicity on air. They had individually told the story of their own fathers: the good, the bad, the ugly. Marty had been moved deeply by the trailer of the movie Absent and he told everyone how fantastic the movie was. Bianca had shared the difficult relationship she had with her dad and told how watching the trailer had helped her realise that she had spent her whole life looking for affirmation from men because of the father-wound she suffered. They then played the film trailer on radio and finished off with a three minute interview with Justin Hunt. My friend, Ratu Suka, was utterly dumbfounded by the openness and honesty of the radio presenters and their enthusiastic encouragement for people to attend the screening at the Lighthouse Church on Sunday 23 June 2013 starting at 6pm.
In terms of commercial radio publicity this was like winning the jackpot at the lottery. This media story will trigger thousands of conversations and help people deal with their own father-wound and hopefully find healing in the process. Knowledge brings power and it is only with knowledge the healing can truly begin. As Justin Hunt has been explaining in the Q & A time after the Absent screening, this documentary is speaking to both the wounded and those doing the wounding.
To the wounded, the message is simple: you must forgive, move on and make your wound sacred. Then you will bring healing to others as well as yourself.
For those who are doing the wounding: you must stop now, seek help and ask forgiveness of those you have hurt.
Screening times for the ‘Get Fatherhood Back Tour’ can be found at:
We are hoping that his documentary will be screened thousands of times across this nation. The tour has been aptly named ‘Get Fatherhood Back’ and we are praying and hoping that this could be the turning of the tide.
If you, through reading this article, have discovered you have a father-wound, the time has come to acknowledge the grief, forgive the one who has hurt you and move on into your God-given destiny.
If you are one who has wounded your children, the time has come to seek their forgiveness. Sorry is a very powerful word for all concerned.
Together we can make a difference!
Yours for our children