Encouragement from José Paulo Fiks, Brazil

Mr Fiks is a Psychologist , Psychiatrist, MD, PHD Master of Semiotics, Doctor of Communication and has a Post- Doctorate in Health Sciences. He wrote to one of our team, Nina Landale who is carrying out research for us within the therapeutic and mental health world. Below is the translation of his kind words.

Dear Nina,

I read absolutely everything about your project, including the script.

As a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst and studying the field of trauma, transmission between generations and PTSD I was fascinated with the closeness between the text and the clinic.

I know that cinema has no obligation to the “truth” of clinic and as an art form can take liberties, provoke debate.

But this project, perhaps because it was built on a true story has been very loyal of the stories of our patients.

The main trauma issue is the paralysis of memory, preventing a life-time of choices.

Even “sweeping under the carpet” can not hide traumatic events and even managing this they return and paralyse us insistently.

So, Helga is very well portrayed as someone who survives, reinvents herself, but is constantly haunted by a past that not even she knows.

As someone who is also part of that group – I am the grandson of Holocaust survivors – I also identified myself with Emily, her granddaughter, much closer to Helga than their own mother Beth, who is practically excluded from the relationship between grandmother and granddaughter. It happened exactly the same in my family.

My father, as a child of survivors was “spared” the terrible facts by his parents, already in a safe environment in Brazil. This brought a lot of impact on his life just by this “not knowing”.

As a grandson, I was very close to my grandparents because I trusted all the terror they went through.

So, Emily and Beth are very close to me, almost relatives.

The script text is extremely fluid and despite such a heavy topic the action takes place in an atmosphere of affection and seeks the reality and truth of each.

The end is splendid; without the need for interpersonal repair it is able to point to an internal subjective repair which again illuminates the lives of descendants.

Mr. Fiks

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