By Vanessa Martinez | Shadow and Act April 29, 2012 at 9:48AM
The inspirational 54-min documentary Healing Neen, directed by Laura Cain and produced by Cain and Thom Stromer, the latter who serves as the film's editor, will be screening at the United Film Festival in New York on May 12, 2012. Neen won the Director's Award at the Hearts and Minds Film Festival in Wilmington, DE in April of last year, and was the New Hope prize winner at Pennsylvania's New Hope Film Festival in July of last year.
The doc follows Tonier "Neen" Cain, who after a childhood of trauma, stemming from her mother's neglection due to her crack-addiction, is now a spokesperson for National Center for Trauma-Informed Care. I watched it in its entirety last night; and wow, it's truly an amazing story, which gives a new meaning to faith, strength and the power of change and transformation. You can hardly believe the Tonier Cain today is the same woman once drug-addicted, incarcerated most of her adult life and disregarded as mentally ill.
Here's more about the film:
Healing Neen takes viewers on a journey to places and subjects that most find too difficult or uncomfortable to fathom. But it is Tonier “Neen” Cain’s joyous spirit and astonishing inner-strength that leaps through the screen directly into viewers hearts, inspiring renewed hope and compassion for those still living on the fringes.
For two decades, Neen hustled on the streets of Annapolis, Maryland, desperately feeding an insatiable crack addiction and racking up 83 arrests along the way. Rapes and beatings were a routine part of life; home was underneath a bridge or inside the locked cage of a prison. In 2004, pregnant and incarcerated for violation of parole, she was provided the opportunity to go to a community trauma, mental health and addictions program.
Feeling safe for the first time in her life, Neen confronted the haunting childhood memories that she tried to numb with drugs: filth and chronic hunger, sexual assaults by neighborhood men, routine physical and mental abuse dished out by her drunken mother. Realizing for the first time that she had been a victim, she began to heal and reclaim power over her life, embarking on a remarkable “upward spiral,” that has no limit. Today, she works for the National Center for Trauma-Informed Care, dedicating her life to being a voice for those still lost and still silent. Traveling the country to give speeches and work one on one with women in prisons and hospitals, Neen continues to transform her own life while helping others to embrace her motto “where there’s breath, there’s hope.”
The doc is available for purchase at the film's website HERE.
Watch the feature doc in its entirety below: