Finding Hope in the Face of Family Trauma

Last Updated: June 15, 2024By

Finding Hope in the Face of Family Trauma


In a world where talking about family trauma and abuse is often hushed up, Xun Sero’s heartfelt documentary breaks the silence. Sero’s film gets up close and personal with his mother, Hilda, aiming to bring together a community torn apart by violence and uncertainty. Through this documentary, we see not just the outer lives but also the deep, inner struggles of the people involved.

A Promised Life

Hilda grew up in the Indigenous Tzotzil community in Mexico. By the time she was just nine years old, she was already promised to marry an older man. This was the harsh reality for many girls in her community. As a teenager, Hilda took a stand and gave birth to Sero, which brought shame to both her and her son. Growing up, Sero was angry at his absent father and often took out his frustrations on his mother, leading to painful confrontations.


Facing the Past

As they start asking tough questions that had never been discussed before, both Sero and Hilda go through an emotional journey. Sero realizes his part in perpetuating a society dominated by machismo, or strong masculine pride, and begins to come to terms with it. This exchange of difficult memories feels like an emotional cleansing, allowing them to start healing.

Struggles of Tzotzil Women

Hilda shares stories of her rough childhood and the few opportunities available to women in her community. The film then shows scenes of Mexico, where young women and mothers work hard, often doing small, odd jobs to survive. By combining Hilda’s reflections with these present-day struggles, the documentary highlights that gender inequality is still a major issue.

Signs of Change

However, there are glimpses of hope. The film follows Hilda through her daily life, from doing housework to working at a women’s health and equality service. This mix of daily routines and professional duties shows progress and a sense of inner peace. Despite the ongoing challenges, there is a sense that change is happening, and it is here to stay.

In a deeply personal and emotional way, Sero’s documentary not only brings attention to past traumas but also shines a light on the resilience and strength of women like Hilda. The film leaves us with a message of hope and the belief that, even in the face of great obstacles, progress is possible.

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