Abdul Aziz Kamara and Moustapha Gnessien in Unspoken Tears | NFB

Now Streaming: Unspoken Tears Observes the Healing Process for Young Refugees

Doc is now streaming from the NFB

3 mins read

See the migration progress through the eyes of young refugees in Unspoken Tears. The film, released today to stream for free from the National Film Board of Canada, observes the plight of children who have experienced significant traumas during their journeys. Director Hélène Magny offers an intimate portrait of the young kids who have to re-learn what it means to be a child again at the same time that their classmates simply have to learn how to read and write. Unspoken Tears gains access to the daily lives of new Canadians to learn progressive approaches towards treating trauma in young children. Among the participants is psychologist Garine Papazian-Zohrabian who draws upon her experience in conflict zones in order to help children recover their identities as they heal. The film is a relevant, empathetic lens towards the migration crisis worldwide.

“With Ukraine, we see images of war every day and millions of refugees fleeing bombardments. We realize the extent to which war can be brutal and traumatic!”said Magny in an interview. With the film, I hope to reach teachers so that they may adjust their perception of the young people they welcome into their schools, even if many already do so. But I made this documentary so that it can address everyone. The fragility of mental health is a universal subject. Everyone, one day or another, has suffered a trauma from which they endure lasting consequences. It must be recognized that events can weaken people, and that does not mean that they suffer from mental health problems. This observation applies to many refugees who arrive here.”


Watch Unspoken Tears below from the NFB.

Synopsis: How can refugee children integrate into Quebec’s school system, given the unspeakable violence they’ve experienced? Following a psychologist specializing in conflict-related trauma, Unspoken Tears pays tribute to the admirable resilience and survival strategies of these “small adults,” whose spirit the bombs and camps have not completely crushed, at a time when it is vital to raise awareness in Western societies of migration-related issues and children’s rights.

Unspoken Tears (Trauma Through Words), Hélène Magny, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, Xtra, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association and an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards.

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