Before the War

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.

Creative team

Writer/director: Tamara Segura
Producer: Ruth Lawrence

6 thoughts on “Before the War

  • Beautiful Tamara I am sure many can relate. Keep up the great work!

  • Of those fortunate enough to return to civilian life following active service, many do not speak of their experiences because they find it impossible, such are the mental scars. But the families also suffer deeply, a factor frequently ignored.

  • War and armed conflict has such dramatic consequences of soldiers behaviour after the original conflict has ended. We need to look after our serving soldiers during and after conflict. More has got to be done to assist these people.

  • Yes we must. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Thanks for making this, Tamara. I have shared it with the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee ( We must stop this war business.

  • Thank you Tamara, this was a nice clip. It is so sad what soldiers go through, or anyone with PTSD, and then they are cast aside by society to deal with the demons on the their own. And often they just can’t win that battle. The scars too deep to overcome.

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