Friday, October 20th 2017

Powerful film making:Breaking the silence

From victims to champions: the stories of five amazing women

BY MARINA GIULLIANI — I’m going to be honest.

I don’t like the kind of movie that Breaking the Silence represents.

Films or TV shows that delve deeply into the psyche of those who’ve been mistreated, misguided or misunderstood, with the interviewer gentle prodding until a stiff upper lip quivers or an all out emotional breakdown rips the heart of a victim wide open — only to be victimized again — are one of only a very few things that make me really angry anymore.

When Soul’s Code suggested I be the one to review this film, my first reaction was, “not a chance!”  Then I softened a bit because my ego liked it — A LOT and when I got that beast under control I agreed because of my tremendous gratitude for the care and compassion they’ve shown while selecting just the right sections from my book, which covers similar subject matter.

Because of varying circumstances and a multitude of excuses on my part it took me over a month to even open the DVD and longer still for it to actually make it to my DVD player.

A TV promo producer from years ago, I had also convinced myself I didn’t like the trailer. “Too sensational” I thought. “Not much uplifting about that.”  So I finally watched it, fully expecting to really rag all over it.


A deeply moving chronicle covering five remarkable lives, Breaking the Silence introduces us to Dana, Davida, Lisa Mae, Tanica and Timeka, young women who have gracefully transitioned from victim to champion.

The clarity and emotion presented in this film could only be those offered by individuals who have lived this subject matter. I commend Davida Horn and her father Michael (co-producers and co-directors) for the highly personal moments they so sensitively captured.  Through the brilliant use of one intimate camera, I fell in love with these incredible young women, each very vulnerable, each so wise beyond her years.

As they courageously explored their personal struggles, I was completely drawn in by their strength, without being disabled by the details of their abuse.  It includes painful stories of rape, illness and abandonment, as well as touching stories of poverty, and religious domination.  All are stories of triumph and redemption.

Breaking the Silence is a significant film, not only for the empowerment of women but should be mandatory viewing for perpetrators of violent crimes against women and children.  The compassion these extraordinary young women show for those with considerably less sense or stability than themselves could provide ground breaking therapy for abusers who lack the understanding that they are loveable, redeemable human beings.

By telling my own story through Soul’s Code, I’ve discovered that the sharing of a secret for the benefit of educating and consoling others is when healing comes full circle.

The producers and the women of Breaking the Silence have done a great service to themselves and society by giving so bravely and completely and I share their triumph. We’ve each taken giant steps for ourselves and for the healing of humanity’s wounds.

Breaking the Silence was released in 2009, and won the Honolulu International Film Festival, 2009 Telly Award. The film is available to order through the site Breaking the Silence.

Read exclusive excerpts on Soul’s Code from Marina’s book, Sins of my faith.


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3 Comments on “Powerful film making:Breaking the silence”

  1. After reading this short commentary BY MARINA GIULLIANI, I will be looking to see this movie.

    So often are pains of the psyche buried, which cause an untouchable angst throughout life.

    To bring the cause of such pains out into the open, is to step from darkness into light where healing begins.

  2. The reviewer's honesty is compelling. I trust her judgment and hope I'll get a chance to see the movie. Thanks for sharing this.

    Author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers

  3. Thanks for this review - the reviewer's honesty about her state of mind was refreshing. I also agree that it's important for survivors of abuse to tell their stories. It can help with healing, but more importantly, there are many others growing up feeling deeply ashamed, who can be helped by knowing that they're not the only ones.

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