Josh Appignanesi & Devorah Baum (UK, London)
The New Man (2016)
The New Man is a ground-breaking new feature film by acclaimed British director Josh Appignanesi and his wife, lecturer and author Devorah Baum, about their own very personal experience of new parenthood. It’s a film for anyone who has children, is thinking of having them, or still feels like a child themselves. Guest appearances by Slavoj Zizek, Zadie Smith, John Berger, Antony Gormley, Hisham Matar, Darian Leader and David Schneider. Executive Producers David Baddiel, Charlie Phillips and Sarah Mosses. Supported by Wellcome Trust
“We started recording our lives over the period of becoming parents – IVF, pregnancy and into unforeseen medical complications.
What began as a playful creative investigation into what no-one tells you about parenthood grew into something else. We realised there was a whole new demographic, undergoing these tribulations but not talking about them, and that the film could become an intimate window on these lives as actually lived.
When hardworking dual-career couples leave children way too late, and turn to risky IVF in their droves… yet have no idea what that really entails. When late-maturing guys, under pressure to be ‘sensitive’, find they’re envious of their wives’ success, and completely unprepared for fatherhood… yet never discuss it.
We wanted to make a film that felt as much like a ‘movie’ as a doc. That didn’t stand outside as ‘observer’ but was inside of the vanity, irony, and pain of married life.
The creative process of filmmaking – glossed in the film itself as an amusingly flawed and desperate response to the greater creativity of having a child – became by the end of things a survival tactic through difficult times. Putting a frame around things. Allowing us to find a narrative through them. Experiences more and more common for everyone today.”