An extremely moving documentary on the plight of Fathers who battle for custody for their children, from the moment they split with their wife the courts label them as second rate with the Wives taking custody in a phenomenal amount of cases. The Fathers, who for the majority have done nothing wrong, gain pitiful hours of access every few weeks.
Bob Geldof presents a very emotional insight into the plight of Fathers on breakup of a Marriage, and the failure of the British courts to even consider the Father as a viable parent.
Geldof has always succeeded in bringing out the emotion in a subject, and it isn’t too hard with a subject matter like this, but what is very apparent is his true desire for a better way and at times compassion for the subject itself.
Filled with some heart wrenching stories, including his own, and with statistics and quotes to make you stare at the television in total disbelief at the complete ineptitude and lack of understanding of the British Courts system, this programme leaves you angry and filled with the same desire to change.
Imagine walking in for your first hearing and one of the Court staff recognises you, takes you aside for a moment and gives you a piece of advice.
“Don’t say you love your kids, it’s seen as too extreme”
What?! The Judge would consider a Father declaring his love for his children as too extreme?!
Although I was prepared for the problems Fathers faced (not through direct personal experience, but knowledge thereof) I was still amazed at how antiquated our judicial system is.
The Father looses rights from the moment he leaves the house, yet in most cases what can he do?
Geldof is sharp, strong and very eloquent, just as he’s always been, and with that expected hint of anger and frustration sliding in.
One of the great wins of the show is introducing us to why the groups such as Fathers 4 Justice and other groups mentioned (my apologies that I forget the other groups mentioned, the heart rendering discussion with one of them was very painful) are carrying out their campaign, and suddenly they aren’t these crazy guys hanging off buildings in costumes, but persecuted Fathers, hungry for some form of justice.
Geldof should do more television work, he is an excellent presenter and writer. My only concern about the show was it did present a very personal view, and it would have been good to hear more stories from other men. Some were shown, but all too briefly.