HAVANA TIMES – A man returns home from a war. His physical scars are healed but the emotional ones are so deep that he will never be the same.
The National Screen Institute of Canada (NSI) posted this short film by Cuban director Tamara Segura.
Filmmaker’s statement posted by the National Screen Institute
For many years, I was haunted by the story of Before the War but I never felt the courage to share it.
Decades ago, when he was only a teenager, my father was forced by the Cuban government to go to the battlefield. The effect of his experiences during those years brought to my family a series of conflicts that ended up with him cutting all contact with us.
Years later, when I immigrated to Canada, the emotional breakdown that I suffered due to my drastic change of life increased my awareness about mental health issues.
This is how I came across the concept of post traumatic stress disorder.
Only then did I understand the reasons behind my father’s behavior. However, everywhere I looked, I realized that mental illnesses were still feared and misunderstood by most people.
That’s when I decided it was time to open up.
I made this film because, after such a long period, I could finally exorcise my trauma and establish contact with my father again. I made this film because I wanted to say “I love you” and because I refused to portray mental illnesses in a dehumanized way.
Before the War embraces the power of understanding and freedom from the burden of hate. By creating it, I wanted to heal myself, help heal my own family and all those that have been through similar experiences.
Writer/director: Tamara Segura
Producer: Ruth Lawrence