The Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) is about to start here (March 22-April 1) and this year’s line up of films includes INOCENTE, a short documentary about an adolescent girl’s struggles and experience with her family’s chronic homelessness, as well as finding solace, hope, and comfort through the power of painting. Check out the powerful trailer from the film’s distributor ShineGlobal:
INOCENTE is an intensely personal and vibrant coming of age documentary about a young artist’s fierce determination to never surrender to the bleakness of her surroundings. INOCENTE is both a timeless story about the transformative power of art and a timely snapshot of the new face of homelessness in America, children.
Working as an art therapist and trauma consultant with youth and families in shelter, but also Latina youth in the community exposed to family violence, I am looking forward to learning more about INOCENTE’s story through this documentary. I’ve been following the film over the last few months via Facebook and Twitter, receiving updates and news about children & homelessness, as well as issues impacting the Latina community to further develop my awareness, understanding, and practice.
I also think it is an important reminder to view homelessness through a trauma informed lens, including what is offered and created for family shelter programs and services. As posted here last summer, I attended a great workshop about this very topic and in that post shared some of the trauma informed resources that have been created by The National Center on Family Homelessness. One of those resources, A Guide for Creating Trauma–Informed Services for Mothers and Children Experiencing Homelessness includes a free 58 page PDF download that provides an excellent overview around considerations for programming, safety planning, support, staff training, and establishing an trauma informed environment for families living in shelters.
A Latina based resource that I would also like to suggest related to domestic violence and abuse is this overview of information for Latina and/or Immigrant Women from the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center here in Cleveland. This page introduces some of the specific issues and needs that this community can face related to breaking the cycle of violence, entering a shelter, and accessing services.
INOCENTE debuts in Cleveland on March 28 and has another screening on March 29. Check out more information here about times, location, and film details. If you’re in the area, consider making plans to check it out!