The Wisdom of Trauma


A feature-length documentary to be premiered June 8–14, 2021, along with a 7-day Talks on Trauma series event.

Find out more and register.
One in five Americans are diagnosed with mental illness in any given year. Suicide is the second most common cause of death in the US for youth aged 15-24. Depression kills over a million people a year globally and 50,000 in the USA. Drug overdoses kills 70,000 in the USA. The autoimmunity epidemic affects 24 to 50 million people in the US. What is going on?
The interconnected epidemics of anxiety, chronic illness and substance abuse are, according to Dr Gabor Maté, normal. But not in the way you might think.
“So much of what we call abnormality in this culture is actually normal responses to an abnormal culture. The abnormality does not reside in the pathology of individuals, but in the very culture that drives people into suffering and dysfunction.” 
— Gabor Maté

In The Wisdom of Trauma, we travel alongside physician, bestselling author and Order of Canada recipient Dr. Gabor Maté to explore why our western society is facing such epidemics. This is a journey with a man who has dedicated his life to understanding the connection between illness, addiction, trauma and society. 
“Trauma is not what happens to you. 
Trauma is what happens inside you, 
as a result of what happens to you.” 

— Gabor Maté

Trauma is the invisible force that shapes our lives. It shapes the way we live, the way we love and the way we make sense of the world. It is the root of our deepest wounds. Dr. Maté gives us a new vision: a trauma-informed society in which parents, teachers, physicians, policy-makers and legal personnel are not concerned with fixing behaviors, making diagnoses, suppressing symptoms and judging, but seek instead to understand the sources from which troubling behaviors and diseases spring in the wounded human soul. 

Coming June 2021

The Wisdom of Trauma, a SAND production 
Directed by: Zaya and Maurizio Benazzo
Director of photography: Caroline Harrison
Editor: Kirk Demorest and Caroline Harrison