The Silences (2015 / 73 mins)
The Silences is a personal essay documentary about the tangled bonds, secret histories and unspoken traumas of family life that stretches from New Zealand to the Australian suburbs. It is an exploration of early childhood and the “silences” of the past that resonate in the present. It draws upon a wealth of photographs, letters, oral histories, documentary footage and clips from the filmmaker’s previous work. It unfolds a mother’s story of lost opportunities, lost love and grief; a father’s story of work, mental illness and war; and a daughter’s story of trying to piece together a more complex picture of the confusing ties of love, loss and kinship between a mother and daughter.
The Silences is part memoir and part meditation on memory, history and photography. It investigates family secrets through an excavation of the repressed and hidden histories in my family, in particular the history of trauma and mental illness. It draws on family photographs, oral histories, my parents’ letters, documentary video footage Nash shot over a seven-year period and clips from her own body of work as a filmmaker. It is the winner of the Australian Writers' Guild 2016 AWGIE Award: Documentary Broadcast or Exhibition, nominated for Documentary Feature at the 2016 Australian Directors Guild (ADG) Awards, and nominated for Documentary Biography at the 2015 Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) Awards.
Writer / Director / Producer - Margot Nash