Chicken Hawk: Men Who Love Boys

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Chicken Hawk: Men Who Love Boys
Directed byAdi Sideman CEO of Younow
Produced byAdi Sideman CEO of Younow
Written byAdi Sideman, Nadav Harel
Narrated byBarbara Adler, Mimi Turner
CinematographyNadav Harel
Release date
July 8, 1994 (July 8, 1994)
Running time
55 minutes

Chicken Hawk: Men Who Love Boys is a 1994 American documentary produced, written, and directed by Adi Sideman. The film profiles members of the pedophile/pederasty organization North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) who discuss sexual relationships between men and boys below the age of consent. The film is an exposé on the group's controversial beliefs and their clandestine lifestyle. Sideman's evenhanded approach provides the audience with an insight into the group members' psyches. The film has drawn attention for its unique approach: letting its subjects, the NAMBLA members, incriminate themselves in a public forum. Since its release, the film has been screened for the FBI, university criminology departments and other law enforcement agencies.[1]

The term "chickenhawk" is used in gay slang to refer to an older man who chases after younger men.


The film describes the organization and its history and features outspoken NAMBLA members Leyland Stevenson, Renatto Corazzo, Peter Melzer, and Chuck Dodson. In a series of interviews, the NAMBLA members describe their feelings towards boys and justifications for such feelings. Scenes in the movie include a group of NAMBLA members participating in the 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation. NAMBLA members argue for NAMBLA's inclusion in the gay rights movement, to the disapproval of other attendees. Photographs of shirtless, or otherwise sexually positioned, boys are shown from the NAMBLA bulletin, as well as several drawings of nude boyish characters with wings. Leyland Stevenson describes a sexual encounter with a boy, in which Stevenson received oral sex from the boy, as a "religious experience." An interaction of Stevenson with another boy is shown, in which the boy makes a prank phone call. Stevenson, observing the boy and engaging him in conversation, suggests that the boy was flirting with him. The interview of a school teacher fired for his membership in NAMBLA is given. Several threatening messages are left on another member's answering machine.

Poet and free speech advocate Allen Ginsberg, NAMBLA's most famous member and defender, appears in the documentary and reads a "graphic ode to youth".[2]

Release and reception[edit]

The film was released to critical acclaim.[3] The premiere at the New York Underground Film Festival was met with fanfare and was covered by national news organizations as well as shock jocks like Howard Stern.

The film has been well received by anti-NAMBLA groups such as "Straight Kids USA" and "National Traditionalist Caucus," both of which were represented in the film. Tom McDonough, Straight Kids USA's 47-year-old founder, said, "We feel everybody should see this movie because it exposes NAMBLA for all the evil they are."[4][5]

Don Rosenberg, 46, of the New York-based National Traditionalist Caucus said, "We thought the movie was very fair. I think Adi did a very good job of letting Leyland Stevenson (the film's central character) and his cohorts hang themselves."[3][4]

In this New York Newsday review,[6] the reviewer addressed the controversy: "To say Sideman has taken a hands-off position is a horrific pun, but it's also true, and wise. It would have been too easy to become strident, had he set out to make an agitprop piece about the evils of pedophilia. So he lets NAMBLA bury itself. And the organization obliges."

Since its release, the film has gone on to screen for psychology, sociology, and criminology departments throughout the USA and has also been screened for the FBI.[1]

The film's distributor, Stranger than Fiction, was run by Todd Phillips, who founded the New York Underground Film Festival and later went on to produce The Hangover films and Due Date.[7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bresler, Eric (August 20, 2012). " and Film Threat present CHICKENHAWK – MEN WHO LOVE BOYS". Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  2. ^ Jacobs, Andrea (2002-06-21). "Allen Ginsberg's advocacy of pedophilia debated in community". Intermountain Jewish News.
  3. ^ a b Anderson, John (August 14, 1994). "'Chicken Hawk': The Controversy". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  4. ^ a b "'Chicken Hawk': The Controversy - Los Angeles Times". 1994-08-14. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  5. ^ Anderson, John (1994-08-14). "'Chicken Hawk': The Controversy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  6. ^ "PHI 340 Some Reviews of "Chicken Hawk"". Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  7. ^ Adams, Sam (2010-11-05). "The Hangover and Due Date director Todd Phillips · Interview · The A.V. Club". Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  8. ^ Adams, Sam (November 5, 2010). "The Hangover and Due Date director Todd Phillips". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 20 March 2013.

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