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Men don’t cry, but boy can they ski

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In an unusual twist of fate, it was only towards the end of making the documentary that Zaritsky found out he had prostate cancer too.

"It was so uncanny but so lucky for me. I’d spent eight months studying the subject so when I got the news I knew exactly what to do. I was in a position that few men ever would be," he said.

Subsequently, Zaritsky’s own shock and questioning was welded into the story line to glue the piece together.

"I’m the bookends, only a minor disruption to the film," he joked.

Suddenly facing possible death, the loss of sexual function, incontinence and even loss of income is not a cheery thought for any virile, jovial, or gentle giant of a workin’ man, and Zaritsky managed to capture these men and their families’ feelings in a non-evasive, honest and endearing manner. This is must-see TV for anyone with a father, a brother, a husband or a friend who’s hit the half a century mark; get a check up.

In Men Don’t Cry , Bob Hunter tries to see the lighter side of getting the Big C.

"I take Woody Allen's view: it's not death that worries me, it's the way you go that's the scary part." He opts for alternative medicine instead of an operation or radiation because if he chooses the other options he has a 70 per cent chance of incontinence and impotence.

"Great. (if I choose those options) I wear diapers and I can’t get it up," he said.

While the debate still rages over when men should be tested, Hunter admitted he left it too late "because I was basically chicken."

For Jake Unger it was a difficult decision opting to choose radiation treatment but in the end he couldn’t contemplate surgery. "I've never been carved on. I've never had surgery of any kind," he said.

Gary Marshall chose to have the cancer cut out and drew on his auto job for the perfect analogy. "Rust," he said, "is cancer of the car. You cut it out and it's gone, where as if you just scrape it back, it will always come back eventually."

Men Don’t Cry’s subject matter is powerful and poignant. It’s also funny and sad and scary and serious. If there’s one night you can afford to stay in and watch TV, or set the video recorder to work, this is it.