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Hello ACE Community:

I am a television and documentary producer and I am interested in a new project focusing on trauma. I am doing some initial research and am looking for any documentaries on the subject that have come out in the last 5-10 years. I know this is a subject that people are speaking on more and more and I'm curious what angles in film have been covered on the subject. Thank you in advance for any help.

NOTE: I am new to this forum and so please excuse me if this topic is somewhere here and I just can't find it. Feel free to point me in the right direction if this has been covered elsewhere.

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Hi Rennik and welcome to ACEs Connection! 

In addition to the previously mentioned films, here are a few more examples of documentaries that focus on trauma (in one way or another). 

KPJR Films produced a movie called Paper Tigers which is now available for viewing on Amazon Prime at no cost.  I love, love this movie! For many reasons, including that the students brought hand-held video cameras with them - at home and in the community - which provided a deeper understanding of the circumstances (traumas) that were barriers to their education.

A brave woman in Sonoma County was featured in a movie called Invisible Bars highlighting the impact of parental incarceration on children.  She is wonderful, and both her and her father are available to be panelist and she has the rights to the DVD - so this can be a good way to raise awareness of a aspect of incarceration that isn't often acknowledged. 

There are many other examples, such as Broken Places etc. Of course we are co-hosting a virtual viewing of Cracked Up (open only to ACEs Connection members) that (if you are interested) will include a Twitter Chat with the featured person.

I am vaguely aware of a Bay Area (CA) group that helps women of color, and LGBTQ women make "shorts" that bring awareness to their lives. If this is of interest, I will see if I can reach out to someone I know who has made film(s). 

Thank you again for joining AC and for bringing your gift and lens to raising awareness and deepening understanding of trauma to a wider audience! 

I look forward to your future participation! You are doing this perfectly - we (at AC) love, LOVE when a dialog can happen in our open, safe space. 

Thank you everyone for your responses!

@Gail, the resource you offered is great, thank you. It's great that you have pricing laid out right there as well so people understand the difference between an educational license and a regular download. I missed the screening of Cracked Up, but I will still figure out how to see it.

@Karen, thank you for your detailed response. I am making a list and seeing who I can contact directly to hear more.

@Jody, why didn't you like what they did in the classroom? Was it not supported by research?

@Monica, I will look into it, thank you.



For me the problem with the model they used is that they were not honest with the students. It is like Santa Clause - with this character that they all write to - and get answers back. Many of these students have had plenty of lies in their life - and plenty of "characters" disappear.  Not necessary. It is also a limited approach - true, it gives them a safe space to share their concerns.... and there are many more tools and skills that could/should be part of the menu: self regulation, respect for self and others, mistakes are opportunities to learn, how to make a repair, helpful not hurtful, empathy, respecting differences - to name a few. Tools that focus on strengths, and lift out the inherent human beingness of each student. These are all learned best in community - so how the teacher leads the community, invites voice and authentic student agency is important. We use Positive Discipline, which invites community and skill building through a series of exercises - and then gets applied regularly (3x/week) through very structured class meetings. Our experience is that students really develop authentic voice and agency. (and we are in the process of setting up the study).

The other concern is that it really is aimed at elementary kids. (No self respecting teen would play that game.) Trauma informed practices are more than helping kids feel good. They are about creating space and community for them to claim their identity in ways that contribute to their own and the common good.

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