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Hidden Histories: Buried stories, brought to light

This beautifully nuanced deeply personal documentary journeys across four generations of an Italian-American family as they unpack the trauma of sexual abuse. Riveting intergenerational interviews are intercut with countless hours of home movies from the 1940s through present day, carrying the audience through a cinematically intimate exploration of what it looks and feels like to break the silence of multigenerational trauma, one conversation at a time.

Each story gives way to a deeper sense of the intricacy of human experience: examining the spaces in between judgment and verdict, shame and blame, trauma and loyalty. This is not just a story of one family, but one of countless stories all over the world that are sitting in silence. This widespread issue transcends religion, gender, and socio-economic status: it exists in the most intimate of spaces, in the most unlikely of relations.

Relative is a first-hand exploration of the complexity of sexual abuse and the power of voice in breaking the cycle and effecting lasting change.


  • Director(s)

    • Tracey Arcabasso Smith
  • Producer(s)

    • Tracey Arcabasso Smith
    • Laura Poitras
    • Jenya James Hamidi
  • Executive Producer(s)

    • Charlotte Cook
  • Associate Producer(s)

    • Yoni Golijav
  • Editor(s)

    • Jeremy Stulberg
    • Ian Olds
  • Cinematography

    • Topaz Adizes
  • Composer

    • Garth Stevenson
  • Visit the film's website

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