SAGINAW (WJRT) -
(07/08/14) - Children going through life without a father is the subject of a new documentary that will be shown for the first time this weekend.
The documentary describes the struggles for children and their mothers when a father is not in their lives.
The movie was produced by a man who knows first-hand about the issue.
In The documentary "Fatherlessness: The American Epidemic", you hear stories from the people who are affected when a father makes the decision to not be part of his child's or children's lives.
It was produced by Brian Pruitt.
"It was heartbreaking to make," Pruitt said.
Pruitt did not have a father growing up, but that didn't stop him from becoming a successful college football player and then a motivational speaker.
He believes he was fortunate, and he believes Saginaw and Flint's battle with crime is tied to those city's high rates of fatherlessness. Pruitt says both rank in the top ten nationally in both statistics.
"Wherever you see high rates of violence, you will always find high rates of fatherlessness, the two go hand in hand," he said.
The documentary features interviews with people who grew up without fathers, single mothers raising their children, and even a father who eventually met his son in prison. He was a fellow inmate.
"It's one thing to lay with somebody and have kids, its another thing to man up, have courage, and father those kids and teach them how to be young men and women to the next generation," Pruitt said.
Pruitt hopes once people see the documentary, they will want to help children, teenagers and young adults who don't have a father figure in their lives.
"Begin to mentor them so they don't make the same mistakes and this issue doesn't continue to carry on," Pruitt said.
The town hall meeting where you can see the documentary is Saturday from noon-2 p.m. at Thompson Middle School in Saginaw.