Not on our watch

Not on our watch

They gather in a dimly lit basement. Some of the men are in suits, others in overalls, young men and old, black, white, Asian and Hispanic. They stand in a circle as a clean-shaven, blond-haired man welcomes them and explains why they have assembled.

It is nearly 20 years old now and Brad Pitt has a few more wrinkles on his face but Fight Club is still one of the most challenging films I have ever seen. It wrestles with male identity in a way that few other films have managed. It depicts the internal fight that many 21st-century men feel as they work out what it means to live in a culture dominated mainly by conscription to consumerism, careerism and competitive sport.

I share the dissatisfaction Brad Pitt’s character, Tyler, has with shallow, empty ideas of manhood. But I cannot share his longing for war. I have seen first-hand the terrible impact of war on the streets of Kosovo and the refugee camps of Lebanon. I still feel my mother’s pain of growing up with a Military Cross m...

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