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THE CALLING (60')
GENRE: DOCUMENTARY
DIRECTED BY STUART KERSHAW


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The mark of an immature man is that he wishes to die for an unworthy cause while the mark of the mature man is that he wishes to live humbly for a worthy one.
-Wilhelm Stekel

The Calling is an exploration of young men?s lust for danger and adventure and the places it can lead him.

Director Stuart Kershaw sets out to discover why young men from all walks of life and across cultures are so magnetically attracted to ideas of sacrifice. His journey takes him from the monotony of western living to the wilderness of Alaska, to football hooligans in the England, finally the shifting warfronts of the Middle East and the terrorism it can breed.

To begin, Kershaw explores the motivations of idealistic young men who journey into the deserts in pursuit of spiritual Epiphany. What is this wanderlust that possesses people like Chris McCandless, as recounted in the best selling book and major motion picture Into the Wild. He soon realizes this wanderlust is really just a dimension of something broader stirring in young men everywhere.

Sports, the military, fanatical movements can be seen as outlets for young men?s aggression. With modern society blurring the lines of gender identity, young men are as confused as ever as to what their role should be. There are no rituals remaining for transforming a boy into a man.

Kershaw is witness to young Israeli soldiers fighting even younger Palestinian school children armed with stones and catapults. The tragic consequences of this battle are revealed in real time as Kershaw documents the young men willing to ?risk all? to realize their heroic desires and give their lives undeniable meaning. And yet it is not just the disillusioned and poverty stricken who find solace in mass movements. Fanaticism is a trans-class phenomenon and Kershaw explores why so many of the 9/11 hijackers harked from well-educated middle class families; and why the same phenomenon can be witnessed in sports stadia across Europe, where soccer hooliganism is rife. In his exploration, Kershaw goes undercover to meet some of the most notorious football hooligans in the UK, the elusive ICF, as seen in the feature film Green Street starring Elijah Wood.

As Kershaw moves closer to understanding his private motivations, he must suspend balanced rationale like the radicals around him, if he is to understand the priceless gift of belonging.