The fact of the matter is that American independent cinema is constantly gasping on its last breath like a Sisyphean nightmare. Such is to say that when one of a handful of well known, American independent filmmakers (like Spike Lee, Wes Anderson, Sophia Coppola, Jim Jarmusch or Kevin Smith) make a film, most of us sigh in relief that something possibly unique is still being made in America. Unfortunately, few of these “well-known” indie stalwarts are women, though filmmakers like Nancy Savoca, Julie Dash, Allison Anders, and Kasi Lemons deserve our respect. The latest popular American indie comes from writer/director Richard Linklater (Slacker (1991), Dazed and Confused (1993), and the Before trilogy among others). I must admit that Linklater is one of my favorite living American directors. His leftist, cerebral, Texan vantage on life usually provides a philosophical journey into the psyche of his characters. Classics like Linklater’s Waking Life (2001)was chock full of this. However, as he’s gotten older, as most men do, he’s become more reverent. In Boyhood (2014), he set out and created a film with several principle characters, namely a young boy named Mason (Ellar Coltrane). The film took 12 years to shoot and included the same cast throughout, including Linklater’s daughter, Lorelei, who plays Mason’s sister Samantha, with Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke, as their parents. One reviewer points out how white “boyhood” is as a film titled after an enormous stage of life that every culture experiences. Other tales of “boyhood” must be prefaced by a racial designation: “black boyhood” for instance versus just “boyhood,” which is assumed to be white. Furthermore, the film gives nominal attention to female characters, rather focusing on Mason, his father Mason Sr. and an alcoholic step-dad or two. Patricia Arquette provides a great illustration of the unsung leadership of motherhood—now that’s a full length film, I’d like to see! In a way, maybe Linklater is trying to depict something about the flaws of white manhood, because most of the adult men are emotional wrecks. I have to say, few American films take the time anymore to explore America without being too self-aware and Boyhood does it well (the French do this well too). You spend nearly three hours watching the sometimes stirring, often unceremonious rhythm of life through the eyes of a deeply sensitive boy—who becomes a decent young man. Maybe this was Linklater’s attempt at showing white men there is a new generation of masculinity ahead that is hopefully less racist, homophobic, classist and sexist. Now what remains to be seen are more stories of childhood that show the variety of childhood experience in America because every kid deserves to have something to relate to on screen.