Chicken Hawk: Men Who Love Boys (film)

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Chicken Hawk: Men Who Love Boys (film)
Year Released: 1994
MPAA Rating (USA): NR
Director: Adi Sideman
Starring: Leyland Stevenson
Renatto Corazzo
Peter Melzer
Chuck Dodson

Chicken Hawk: Men Who Love Boys is a 1994 award winning documentary produced, written and directed by Adi Sideman. The term, "chicken hawk," is a (usually) derogatory label gay slang term to refer to an older man who pursue relationships with younger men and boys.[1]

Slant of the film

The film was (apparently) edited to sensationalize the topic, and is similar in tone and accuracy to the 1936 George Hirliman film "Reefer Madness". TV Guide states that: "While Sideman has done a good job ferreting out raw material, his organizational skills leave much to be desired. As characters flash by unidentified, time and place are allowed to blur, and CHICKEN HAWK emerges as a cluttered, often perplexing, affair."[2] In an interview entitled, "The filmmaker who looked at pederasty without flinching"[3] Adi Sideman expresses his pride that the film is used by law enforcement to profile minor attracted people for pedophile hunters within the FBI. He stated, " I let the men in the film hang themselves". Sideman also had stated in the interview about Leyland Stevenson:

"I found Leyland Stevenson, one of the men in the film, particularly repellent. How did you feel when he spoke with obvious joy of taking his young "friend" on a camping trip and having sex with him? That was such gross manipulation on Stevenson's part."

Scenes from the film

The narrator interviews several members of the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) who discuss their views on sexual relationships between men and boys. Scenes in the movie include following 4 outspoken NAMBLA members: Leyland Stevenson, Renatto Corazzo, Peter Melzer and Chuck Dodson. The film describes the organization and its history. Also included are scenes of a group of NAMBLA members participating in the 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation. NAMBLA members argue for NAMBLA's inclusion in the gay rights movement, to the disapproval of other attendees. Poet and free speech advocate Allen Ginsberg, NAMBLA's most famous member and defender, appeared in the documentary and read a "graphic ode to youth".[4]

The film was summed up in the Austin Chronicle as follows:

"In the end, Chicken Hawk is unmercifully fair, as neither side holds much credibility. The NAMBLA members come off looking like a deluded bunch of perverts, while the conservative forces opposing them offer up an image of bullying, foul-mouthed rednecks hurling unspeakably homophobic playground vulgarities at pathetically easy targets. It is precisely this balance that makes the film so fascinating, not to mention somewhat frustrating, for Sideman's camera merely records and documents facts, events, and opinions, rather than interpret them." [5]


  1. chicken hawk (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
  2. TV Guide Review: Chicken Hawk: Men Who Love Boys
  3. The filmmaker who looked at pederasty without flinching.
  4. Jacobs, Andrea. "Allen Ginsberg's advocacy of pedophilia debated in community", Intermountain Jewish News, 2002-06-21. Retrieved on 2010-09-17. 
  5. Review in The Austin Chronicle

External links