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NO LULLABY (#HotDocs14 Review)

Hot Docs 2014

Directed by Helen Simon

A family’s dark past is revealed in Helen Simon’s German film, NO LULLABY. Join a now middle-aged Tina, as she tells the story of how her father came to sexually assault her throughout her childhood. Tina reveals the she blocked out the abuse, citing that it was so traumatic that she had forced herself to forget. Not remembering what her father had done, Tina often sent her now deceased daughter, Floh, to stay with both he and her mother. The film is compiled of interviews with Tina as well as a narration of the courtroom transcripts from when Tina and her daughter testified against her father. Through these transcripts, it is revealed that Tina’s father repeatedly assaulted Floh as well.


The account of the abuse is at its most heart wrenching when being told by Tina. Segments read by the faceless narrator often feel quite impersonal. While the narrated passages are not as effective as Tina’s telling of her story, we see that Simon uses them so Floh can be understood in her own words, instead of those of her mother.

It is very hard to judge a film covering such a delicate subject matter. The film tells the story of a woman who was silenced for far too long, but it is a very hard story to hear. At the same time, the issues on display in the film must be recognized. NO LULLABY is an important film at a time when many people are not speaking out about their abusers.

3.5 sheep

#HotDocs14 Screenings

04.30, 9:45 PM, Scotiabank Theatre

05.01, 5:00 PM, ROM Theatre

05.04, 2:00 PM, Scotiabank Theatre

Click here for tickets!

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