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photo State of Mind
Healing Trauma
By Djo Tunda Wa Munga
Steven Markovitz and Djo TundaWa Munga for SUKA!

In war torn countries people will not be able to be productive and development will fail until they overcome their trauma. Yet, Is it even possible for a country overwhelmed by the legacy of five million deaths to successfully heal and move on?

That is the underlying question in Congolese documentary filmmaker Djo Munga's powerful film State of Mind, about the use of psychotherapy to talk about loss, forgiving, and finding new memories to overlay the traumatic older ones.

Psychotherapist Albert Pesso is invited to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, where many people suffer from years of post traumatic stress disorder. Pesso is there to train health practitioners in symbolic interaction, a form of relatively short-term, group-session based, psychotherapy.

In the training sessions the health care workers themselves, many of whom are also survivors of horrendous violence, work through the therapeutic process with therapist Pesso. State of Mind: Healing Trauma captures the sessions in a series of fly-on-the-wall scenes, and candid, hearthbreaking interviews with the participants put the effort in a larger context. A layered, engrossing and intriguing look at a national collective trauma and one ambitious initiative to try and heal wounds.

52 minutes
© 2010
Purchase $298 DVD
Order No. QA-554
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Reviews
"Al Pesso, a Master therapist from the U.S. demonstrates how the language of trauma and recovery transcends language and culture, and that it is possible to install a sense of safety and protection in even the most traumatized individuals. A remarkable achievement." Bessel van der Kolk, MD, Director, National Complex Trauma Treatment Network

Awards & Conference Screenings
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, 2010
Dokfest Munich, 2010

Related Films
Drawing From Life: A half-hour film that goes inside a group therapy workshop for people who have attempted suicide more than once.

Four Films on Grief and Bereavement: This four-part series profiles individuals who are struggling to deal with the often unexpected death of a loved one: a child, a parent, a spouse, or a sibling. Their thoughtful, courageous responses focus on dealing with the immediate impact of loss, on paths to healing, and on the ways that friends and family can help — but sometimes donít. In sharing the pain of mourning, they explore universal experiences that will help others to begin healing.

Inner Views of Grief: Five young adults eloquently describe their reactions to the sudden, sometimes violent death of a parent, sibling, or friend.

Those Who Stay Behind: Interviews with five recently bereaved people offer a guide to help others navigate the healthcare system, the medical decisions they must make, and their own grief process.

A Video Essay on Teenage Grief: Ninety percent of children in the United States may experience the loss of a loved one by the time they are eighteen. In this two-part DVD, five young women meet to share their experiences of grief over the loss of their fathers from suicide, accident, a drug overdose, and cancer.


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