Strong at the Broken Places
Turning Trauma into Recovery
Strong at the Broken Places is a 38 minute educational video about people, devastated by trauma and loss, who find common ground for their journeys to recovery.
A new film from the producers of "Defending Our Lives," "Strong at the Broken Places" is the story of vastly different lives; but the death camps of Cambodia, the violent streets of South Boston, the amputee ward of a V.A. hospital and the cell of an alcohol and drug addicted inmate yield remarkable survivors, all of whom heal themselves by helping others.
Their stories are both inspirational and instructional, helping to infuse the word "hero" with meaning for our daily lives.
Most of us have or will face serious trauma in our lives. As one of the film's subjects explains, "Sooner or later life breaks us all, but with courage, hope, and the support of people who care, many become strong at the broken places."
Whether it is the death of loved ones, family or personal illness, crime and tragedies all take their toll on us. But by reaching out to others we can become "wounded healers," and in so doing find our way to recovery and meaning.
"Strong at the Broken Places: Turning Trauma to Recovery" shows how deep personal loss can be turned into a powerful tool for restoring hope and changing society. This documentary is indispensable to the work of:
- Mental Health Professionals
- Teachers and Youth Workers
- Corrections Officials
- Veterans Hospitals and Organizations
- Violence Prevention
- Community Organizers
- Substance Abuse Counselors
- Women's Shelter Counselors
- Disabilities Organizations
- Pastoral Caregivers
- Victims Groups
- Academic Courses in Psychology, Sociology, and Jurisprudence
What they say about "Strong at the Broken Places"
"This taut, gripping short film is a perfect marriage of filmmaking craft and powerful subject matter. Four individuals who survived unspeakable trauma in their youth give their stories. A Vietnam Veteran, an abused woman, a handgun control advocate, and a victim of the Khmer Rouge tell all. The film weaves their articulate interviews and documentary footage to make a profound statement about inner strength and empowerment."
DoubleTake Film Festival
"So far I have shown this documentary to over 50 groups of helping professionals. The film says more powerfully in 38 minutes what used to take me hours to explain."
Linda T. Sanford, Author and Social Worker
"It is inspiring to see the recognition of these people's ability to stop the cycles of violence and trauma that could have destroyed their lives... Overall, this documentary can serve as a personal call to action, and also as a showcase of how one person through their own personal transformation can change an entire community."
Dr. Barry Krisberg President, National Council on Crime & Delinquency
"After almost three decades of women's health advocacy and activism we know first-hand, with many other women around the world, of the healing powers of social change work. This film captures so vividly and beautifully how individuals can transform profound suffering and pain into the ability to inspire others to join them in creating a better world."
The Boston Women's Health Book Collective, Authors of Our Bodies, Our Selves
"The secret of this age is that courage is not in short supply. What is riveting about this documentary is four people who have been to hell and back, and they are for real. Four people telling how they found the strength to carry on, and the joy in carrying on, is not just inspiring, it is essential."
David Nyhan, Boston Globe
"Everyone's life will be better for seeing this film. It is 38 minutes that will provide enormous benefits to anyone in any station of life. People are going to walk away with a better understanding of what others are going through and will be more hopeful about their own problems. I am going to show this to every high school and organization that I can."
Tom Coury, Executive Director - Shaw Foundation
"Most people find it hard to imagine how survivors of life's worst atrocities can ever recover. This film shows how it is done. In these direct and intimate interviews the every day courage, humor and wisdom of survivors becomes a gift to all of us."
Judith L. Herman, MD Author of Trauma and Recovery, Consultant to the film
"For all of us who work with people who have experienced loss, this remarkable documentary describes the way in which trauma can become the occasion for a life-transforming choice. This film points to the commonalities of different paths to recovery; and with elegance and clarity illustrates the way in which the experience of overwhelming loss became the foundation for a new commitment to life."
David Green, MD, Forensic Psychiatrist -- Essex County Clinic Services, MA
Awards and Screenings
- Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences®:
selection for "Outstanding Documentary Films of the Year" series screening 2000 National
- Council on Crime & Delinquency PASS Award 2000
- Vermont Int'l Film Festival: The People's Choice Award
Film Festivals and Conference Screenings (partial list):
- Washington DC Int'l Film Festival
- DoubleTake Documentary Festival
- Columbus Film Festival, 2nd Place
- Woods Hole Film Festival
- American Public Health Film Festival
- Preventing Violence & Beyond: Summit '98 Film Festival
- American Psychological Association Annual Conference '99
Running time: 38 minutes.
Price: $220 (+ $10 handling and shipping.)
The price includes public performance rights ( you can show it to a class or at a public event.)
Go to the order page.
Resources & Links
- Common Reactions to Violence and Trauma (pdf)
- The National Center for Victims of Crime
- NOVA: National Organization for Victims Assistance
- David Baldwin's Trauma Information Pages
- Military PTSD Recovery Resources
- Reduce the Noise: Help Loved Ones with Sensory Overload
- PTSD in the workplace
- Stages of Recovery