United World Project


Doorbell, a short film based on the theme domestic violence acts witnessed by children

18 October 2022   |   , ,

Manuel Macadamia, a young Milanese director, narrates the trauma caused due to the violence witnessed by minors. He does so through a short animation, in collaboration with a group of psychologists.

«Witnessed violence, the one that a child sees, even though not he may not endure it directly, creates traumas that remain imprinted for long». Manuel Macademia, a 25-year-old Milanese director, explains the theme of his new animated short film. After a theatrical formation, now he works on audiovisuals and this is his first animated product. It was produced with the frame-by-frame technique, that is manually drawing more than a hundred small frameworks, a work of about seven months. All this work because there was a great motivation: create awareness on the theme still very little known of the domestic violence witnessed by children.

«It was all born as I discovered that a person whom I love very much lived in this context – explains Manuel – and informing myself more I discovered that it is a frequent phenomenon. There is nothing to be ashamed of, but we need to speak about it in order to overcome the trauma». The term “witnessed violence” indicates a form of violence that a girl or boy witnesses being afflicted on a figure to him/her known. However, this can lead to consequences regarding “physical, cognitive, behavioral and socialization capacities” as mentioned on the Italian website Save the Children[1]. Often these children carry with them this constant fear, a great sense of guilt, apart from anxiety, sadness and anger. But the fact that touched Manuel most is this: in the children who witness these domestic violence acts there is «a high risk of intergenerational transmission of the violence»[2]. It like saying that there is a probability that a vicious cycle is set in motion, for this who has witnessed this violence reiterates the same behavior. It is for this that Manuel is convinced on the importance of creating awareness. «Obviously this is not a deterministic vision: – he specifies – if it is has ever occurred to you to witness this type of violence, it is not said that you will become a violent person! But often, to overcome the trauma, one must recognize it, talk about it, and work on themselves years after years, with the help of professionals».

This short film, you will see, focuses a lot on the sensations. It doesn’t explain what witnessed violence is in words; it moreover tries to make one live some emotions through images, that do not contain explicit contents to permit its vision to everyone. «I think that one characteristic of us human beings is empathy – explains the director – if we manage to create an empathic relation with the people, then maybe they might be more interested in such matters».

Doorbell, though isn’t just a short film: from this in fact a real project, in partnership with a group of psychologists was born. The goal is to accompany the vision of this video with moments of dialogue and discussion. During the Modena Philosophy festival, held last September, different groups of people watched the film and Manuel narrates: «Everyone showed the desire, after having watched it, to stop and talk about it. It was a beautiful result. I hope that this project can represent a small drop to interrupt the chain».

The short film:

[1] https://www.savethechildren.it/blog-notizie/cos-e-la-violenza-assistita-e-quali-le-conseguenze-sui-bambini

[2] https://www.savethechildren.it/blog-notizie/i-segnali-della-violenza-domestica-e-come-riconoscerli