Twenty-two years after Attiya Khan resolved to finally leave her abusive boyfriend, Steve, she got in touch with him and asked him to meet with her. She wanted to know whether he was prepared to take responsibility for his actions.
That first meeting became the opening scene of her film, A Better Man, which documents their progress — together and individually — toward understanding and coming to terms with the past. Through an extraordinary series of conversations, difficult therapy sessions, and visits to the high school they attended and the apartment they once shared, the two begin a process of healing.
The film, co-directed by Khan and Lawrence Jackman, inspires a larger discussion about what men can do — and what they might be willing to do — to alter behaviours that might lead to violence against women.
“A Better Man documents a personal experiment for me and my abusive ex-partner — a step towards understanding and accountability,” says Khan. “By getting closer to the truth of what survivors experience, and of why men choose to use violence, we can help stop the abuse. I hope that sharing my personal search for justice and healing will contribute to the struggle to end domestic violence.”
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A Better Man airs on TVO:
- Sunday, November 26 - 11 p.m.
- Wednesday, November 29 - 9 p.m. and midnight
- Wednesday, December 6 - 9 p.m. and midnight - Special presentation to honour National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
It Was Me, an interactive online feature that accompanies the film, explores men's personal journeys toward nonviolence.
Finding new ways to talk about domestic violence: We talk to Attiya Khan, co-director of 'A Better Man,' about domestic abuse, the healing process, and the need for brave conversations.
Learning to breathe: Finding peace after abuse: In A Better Man, a woman sits down with her abuser years later — but how can you find resolution when your abuser won’t take responsibility?