The son of a drunk and abusive politician reconciles with the guilt that comes from not protecting his mother from his father.
When I was a kid, and would visit my extended family in Mississauga/Brampton, those otherwise joyous events were always marred by the presence of alcohol and abuse (physical and verbal). Men who never felt it necessary to be kindhearted surrounded me, and any sign of vulnerability was considered weakness. Worse, I’ve since seen others in my age group follow upon those drunken footsteps, and instead of being the generation to change things, I watched the next one have to deal with the same issues I did at that age.
“COPELESS” is an attempt to put front and center the kind of experiences that are often witnessed but never talked about. It’s a conversation we’re only now beginning to have and understand as acceptable. It is by no means a broad-brush criticism on an entire community, culture, gender, and/or religion, but rather, a revealing look into poisonous practices our culture still perpetuates and succumbs to for no other reason than a stubborn inability to acknowledge trauma and mental health in a way that is compassionate rather than cruel.
The story is framed as a dialogue between South Asian men, each burdened by their own embracing of toxic masculinity as embodied by their upbringing.