Directed by : Céline Pernet

Genre : Documentary

Duration: 90′

Year : 2022

Original version : French

Subtitles : English, German, italian

Man caves

After three years and 476 matches with men on dating applications, and a certain number of “short relationships that were as nice as they were brief”, the director and ethnologist Céline Pernet decides to take the time to investigate her relationship with the men of her generation. Through an advert, she brings together around thirty men aged 30 to 45 years old, living in Switzerland, who agree to talk to the camera about their relationship(s) with masculinity. The director questions them about seduction, sex, couples, love and even paternity, in a quest as personal as it is societal. The protagonists show an urgent need to discuss contemporary masculinity and share their secrets, cry, doubt and laugh. In Garçonnières, toxic models of masculinity can be put into words while inspiring interpretations of masculinity may be considered together for the future. With welcome frivolity, the director casts an amused and kindly eye on the masculine world. This film asks us to listen attentively to each other and, one day, to be something other than what is expected of us.

World premiere at the Visions du Réel Festival 2022,
Sheffield Documentary Festival (GB); Festival de Douarnenez (F); Festival du Film Français d’Helvétie; Equis Festival de Cine Feminista de Ecuador; Bergen International Filmfestival (N); Le mois du doc (F); Dhaka International Film Festival – Bangladesh; Victoria Film Festival – Canada; Doc Point Helsinki – Finlande; Journées de Soleure; Doc Point Tallinn; Journées du cinéma suisse de Montpellier (Prix du public); Biografilm Festival – Bologne (I); Fest -New Directors New films Festival (P)



Directed by : Céline Pernet

Production : Stéphane Goël

Image : Heidi Hassan

Sound : Bruce Wuilloud, Thibaud Weiler

Editing : Karine Sudan

Sound design and Sound mix : Jérôme Cuendet

Assistant director : Sélima Chibout

Music : Sara Oswald

Color grading : Robin Erard

Graphic design : Julien Dumoulin

Production : Climage

Coproduction : RTS, Steven Artels, Gaspard Lamunière, Bettina Hofmann

Financial support : Office Fédéral de la Culture (DFI), Cinéforom et la Loterie Romande, Fondation Culturelle Suissimage, Succès Cinéma, Fondation Ernst Göhner, BCN Fondation Culturelle, Fondation SUISA.

0000-0005-54B1-0000-A-0000-0000-7 © 2022 Climage – RTS


Intention notes

Céline Pernet, Film director

My name is Céline, I’m 35 and I’m single with no children. I’ve been attracted to men for as long as I can remember. However, I must have missed the train that takes princesses to the combo of a fulfilled married life, a house in the country, a screaming baby and a SUV in the garage before the age of 30. I’m wondering today. What could have gone wrong to make me so much less than what was expected of me?

Over the course of 3 years, I’ve racked up a rather respectable score of 476 matches on Tinder, 65 dates and around 15 short stories, as nice as they are short-lived. One thing you need to know about the wonderful world of dating apps is that on a first date, it doesn’t take much more than 10 minutes to find out whether the trip was worth the candle or not. But the implicit codes of lightning dating – and a modicum of human decency – require both parties to be present for around 60 minutes before politely excusing themselves. As a result, I’ve had a great many encounters with strangers, whose ultimate purpose was no longer the quest for love, but the need to fill the time. Strange interludes of life, suspended moments. Once the usual banalities were out of the way, I was only moderately enthusiastic about the prospect of going on to rain and shine. So I naturally got into the habit of asking these men, with great simplicity and a touch of candor, what it was like to be a man in the great theater of human relations.

I was struck by the spontaneity and sincerity with which men my age spoke to me. Thanks to a meeting tool that was commonplace for people of my generation, I had opened a breach, a direct access to the male psyche. The ritual that kept me from sinking into the tedium of sterile exchanges soon became fertile ground for an investigation as exciting as it was fascinating. I needed to know more. Until then, the male empire had appeared to me as a relative societal fiasco. Suddenly, I was discovering men who wanted to talk to me, exchange ideas and who weren’t afraid to lay themselves bare. What they told me, their questions and doubts, echoed the state of mind of a generation searching for its identity and no longer necessarily recognizing itself in the principles of masculinity imposed by the macho system. They are trying – not without difficulty – to build an identity for themselves outside the myth of virility that no longer really suits them. These men touch and challenge me. I see in their fragility and discomfort the unexpected promise of a possible change in our relationships. What began as an innocent game on the tortuous path of my love life became, in the space of a few weeks, the genesis of a veritable documentary investigation into the heart of our intimate relationships. Thanks to the success of these first encounters, I had the perfect opportunity to explore the world and the words of men.

In 2020, I launched an appeal, posting an advert on social networks. Within a few weeks, I received almost fifty messages from men (aged between 30 and 45) whom I didn’t know at all. They all told me they wanted to talk to me. Face-to-face, in front of my camera, they talked to me about seduction, sex, relationships, work and fatherhood, love and their dicks too. In this direct, free speech, I saw the portrait of a generation of men take shape. Men who want us to meet, talk to each other, and one day find a way to rewrite together new ways of being and living together.

Watch the film (VOD)

In Switzerland : Filmingo, Blue TV, Cinefile, Myfilm

International :

Show the film

(public screenings / festivals)

In Switzerland : Agora Films

World sales : Lightdox

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