During the tour of screenings in Ohio, I had many conversations about our intentions with the film; why we made it, where we see it going and how it can get there. It mainly comes back to our desire to give these children a voice, to bear witness and to help them communicate their story.
There have been moments when we've wondered: what if it could end on a happy note, what if it all leads up to some amazing finale of redemption and everyone being healed and happy? We probably would have a film that would be more marketable both in the regular film market as well as to churches. But we had to realize that that's just not how it seems to happen when it comes to child abuse survivors. They're not all happy and healed in the end. It is a long process that may never be totally complete.
In this sense, we hope that the film says to the survivors: you're not alone in how you feel. And to the families, friends, congregations, church leaders, colleagues, neighbors, and teachers we hope the film says: be patient, be supportive and try to understand that the childhood trauma has effected this person for life and that they can't "just get over it" but they are on a journey you could maybe help them on.
It would be great to know that people are using this film as a conversation starter to let those close to them know what they may have experienced something similar and thus help them on their journey of healing and in their relationship building - especially within families.
So then what do we do with a film like this? We keep showing it to people and open the conversation. Next we are going to St. Louis, where Judy Jones of SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests) organized a screening at Schlafly Bottleworks on June 2nd, which will be attended by Scott, myself, Rev. Dr. Richard Darr, David Darr and David Clohessy (SNAP National Director).
Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - 7pm
Schlafly Bottleworks - The Crown Room
7260 Southwest Avenue
Maplewood, MO 63143 (St. Louis)
Phone: Judy Jones, 636-433-2511
And we invite YOU to host, organize or get someone else to have a screening - at your church, school, community center, self-help group, etc. Just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
You can watch clips from the documentary on the film's website and order the DVD on amazon or filmbaby, where you can also download the entire documentary.