UNTOLD SECRETS CRITIQUES
Word on the Street
A FASCINATING DOCUMENTARY. IT HIGHLIGHTS THE ATROCITIES OF THE MOTHER AND BABY HOMES, BROUGHT TO LIGHT BY THE RECENT REPORT. TERESA MET MANY OF THE SURVIVORS OF THESE HOMES AND LEARNED OF ONE SURVIVORS HORRIBLE TREATMENT AT THE HANDS OF A FAMILY SHE WAS PLACED IN AT 8 YEARS OF AGE, BASED IN TUAM.
THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT STORY TO TELL AND MANY OF US HAVE ALREADY HAD LETTERS OF HARASSMENT FROM A PROMINENT IRISH POLITICAL FAMILY NAMED IN THE DOCUMENTARY.
The closing film of Fleadh 21 was the documentary Untold Secrets. Last year also concluded with a doc, the wonderful The 8th (available to stream on Volta ). That was a brilliant celebration of the repeal movement and by the end of it I had tears in my eyes.
Untold Secrets also elicited tears but I felt very different by the end of this film. I felt unbelievably angry. The film is a series of interviews with survivors, families of survivors, and people involved in the mother and baby home scandal we are all familiar with.
In 2012 a terrific documentary, The Act of Killing, was released. It was screened in Galway cinemas and was nominated for an Oscar for best documentary. It was about the Indonesian genocide in the 1960s, a deeply disturbing story. What made it so infuriating was the people who committed these acts are still alive and still in power in that part of the world.
I remember thinking, ‘I can’t believe that happened in the world with no repercussions for these people’. That same year, Catherine Corless published her article, ‘The Home’ about the treatment of women and babies by state institutions over the previous 90 years. It seems we were also capable of atrocities in Ireland.
As a documentary, Untold Secrets is very well made - haunting imagery, first hand sources, names named. Director Teresa Lavina uses what little footage she had, along with taped interviews from the 1980s, and still images of the nuns and children involved. She never overdoes it and gets the tone perfect for telling this awful story - which is more tricky than you might think. Untold Secrets is just one chapter in the ongoing conversation about this enormous issue. It is the next step in the quest for justice that started in earnest when Catherine Corless published that story in 2012.
People often avoid this kind of documentary and this kind of news story. I am guilty of doing it myself, but this is too recent, too local, and too horrific to ignore. Untold Secrets should be shown to everyone in Ireland, it should be on RTÉ and promoted as heavily as the All-Ireland final, at the very least it should be on the Civic, Social and Political Education course for secondary schools.
We have a national responsibility to make sure everyone knows what happened. Untold Secrets was a brilliant way to end a great festival.
Super proud of our past GCC Film student Teresa Lavina; her poignant & sobering documentary which was screened in last nights closing of the Galway Film Fleadh. “Untold Secrets” voices the experience of the survivors from the mother & baby homes. We commend Teresa on her stalwart commitment & hard grit in producing & directing this Documentary.
These stories needed to be told. Amazing that you are their storyteller. Teresa. Well done on giving them a voice to be heard and heal.
They say there’s a time for everything and this is your time ….. thank you for supporting both the mothers and children of mother and baby homes and ensuring their experiences are documented and exposed, we are indebted to you. Sending to light the darkness. No more secrets !
Survivor stories need to be broadcast far and wide. Far too many survivors of Ireland’s institutions buried their pain - we must have the courage to face the truth; to allow survivors their time to speak their truth and ultimately to support the quest for justice. Your work Teresa is valuable; it holds survivors voices at heart. You use your skills and talents to support us and you deserve to be congratulated upon each successful screening as it teaches new audiences. If it informs just one person it has done what you set out to do but we both know it informs hundreds and will inform thousands. Be strong; be safe and well and speak with a passion that carries to new shores. to you and those you’ve captured in film and fondly remembering Anne Silke
Super proud of you in your conviction and tenacity in having the truth told!!! You are an amazing woman for one woman
So proud of you and all your hard work, stay strong and don't give up x
The whole country is behind you the truth needs to be told and abuse needs to be exposed always.
Nothing more to put the fear into these bastards than a strong woman who doesn't give in!!
More power to you Teresa and we'll be here to help in any way we can!!
Keep going Teresa dont give up you've come this far