This year I was able to attend around 7 films which include some short films. A reoccurring theme that I noticed was how people cope with traumatic experiences. While most documentaries follow a character through a journey to self-realization, documentaries also allow filmmakers to do the same. Some films that follow this notion are Irene’s Ghost, 3 Days 2 Nights, and Exit Music. Irene’s Ghost is about the filmmaker’s journey to understanding who his mother was and the circumstances around her death. While his family has fond memories of his mother they have a detached view of her. Creating this film allowed him to come to terms with her death and cope with the information he comes to find surrounding his mother. Exit Music follows this same idea. The film follows a teenage boy named Ethan Rice who suffers from cystic fibrosis. His family has to come to terms with and acknowledge that Ethan will have a short life and even have to make the decision of when living is stopping him from inner peace and physical comfort. In each of these films, the characters have trouble sharing their feelings with their family. The documentary forces them to be more open with each other in a way that they previously couldn’t do. 3 days 2 nights follows two brothers almost 40 years after a plane crash that kills their family. The residual pain that comes with that type of tragedy stops the brothers from fully communicating with each other. Soon one brother writes an article about his experience to find self-fulfillment and closure. This article led to the creation of the documentary which allowed for the other brother to also cope and find his own peace. Story-telling allows people to reflect in a way that they wouldn’t otherwise do. It’s really a testament to how critical filmmaking is and art in general is. That not only sharing your story can inspire others but, also allow one to explore a side or perspective of their story that wouldn’t be as easily accessible.