An interview in Rockville Music Magazine showcases a recent screening of Absent, Justin Hunt’s documentary about phsyically and emotionally unavailable fathers. Among people covered in the movie is James Hetfield, who you know better as the loud guy from Metallica.
Hetfield grew up, for the most part, without his father, Virgil. When his mother died of cancer, Hetfield lived with his half-brother. Watching his mother die without the emotional support of a real father in his home tore Hetfield apart inside, and led to his life of alcohol and music.
Hetfield loved being part of the movie – which was one of the rare requests to “make it through.” In Metallica’s downtime, they receive hundreds of requests to be a part of different projects – and Justin Hunt’s request for Hetfield to participate in Absent was immediately confirmed. “I really love that [ABSENT] wasn’t centered around Metallica, and all of that stuff,” said Hetfield at the screening. “It was [me as] just another person in there telling my story.”
On the topic of his father, Hetfield added: “…the Father Wound of him leaving, and not saying good-bye, and showing up, like maybe a year later, in his sports car of some sort…saying, ‘Hey, come on lets go spend some money.’ Meanwhile, [my mother, sister, and I] are living in poverty. It hurt a lot.”
Hetfield answers some good questions about his own parenting style and acknowledges that the way he was treated by his father still influences how he reacts to his own children.
Anyone seen Absent? Until we can score a copy of the award-winning film, we really only have Hetfield’s interview to go by – but it seems like a necessary journey for a lot of people.
Check out the trailer for Absent:
And check the sauce below for the whole screening interview!