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Transgenerational trauma - The Invisible Links film

Film and debate on the psychology of family secrets with Marine Billet

Last weekend, I attended a film screening and a debate on the psychology of family secrets, in the presence of the director, Marine Billet, and a transgenerational therapist invited to moderate the debate that followed. to the projection.

Marine Billet gets the idea to document when, as a filmmaker, she accompanies a man who seeks to understand the role played by a heroic family member during WWII. He was horrified to find that this treasured family member was a collaborator. The man didn't want to go any further in the film project, but Billet had then met several people who had discovered their family secrets and their invisible ties.

Three individuals facing inexplicable blockages

The documentary follows three individuals facing inexplicable blockages as they are tempted to move on with their lives; they all suspect they have the psychological weight of a family secret that has been passed on. In each case, the film shows that it is crucial to take your rightful place in the family so that you can then take charge of your destiny.

A young wife unable to get pregnant who had a raped grandmother and had a child. A young woman, a lifelong student, discovers that her dark skin and hair was inherited from her grandmother's romantic affair with an African-American soldier. A new father unable to connect with his baby learns that his own father committed suicide three months before he was born. In each case, revealing the secret to the protagonist allows them to accept who they really are and move on in life - but not without a lot of hard work and hard work.

The phenomenon of transgenerational trauma

The phenomenon of transgenerational trauma was first identified in the 1960s when Canadian clinicians exceeded 300% of the prevalence of child psychiatric illness in the infants of Holocaust survivors compared to the general population.

We know today that we can be a large group, as in ethnic, national or religious identity, or as an individual, as in the case of the protagonists of Billet's film; grief or unresolved trauma from previous generations, with symptoms such as depression, suicidal thoughts or acts, anxiety, anger, self-destructive behavior, low self-esteem, or substance abuse.

The nature of the debate was particularly about family secrets affecting people, which usually begin with one generation, affect the second and then the third, which is the generation that seeks to reveal and resolve the secret. The secrets more often relate to human sexuality, its own origins, its money or the tragedies concerning death.

Billet has been organizing screenings of its film in small cinemas all over France since its release in 2015, preferring to meet a real audience rather than an ephemeral promotion of national cinema. Her next project is a documentary on the nature of love and its ability to heal the ills of the world.

Gardner, Fiona (1999-12-01). “Transgenerational processes and the trauma of sexual abuse” . European Journal of Psychotherapy & Counseling. 2 (3): 297–308.

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