Human Resilience

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A Celebration of Resilience

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We are together

On the train yesterday reading the paper, I was inspired by and feel moved to write about the documentary “We Are Together” by a film maker in his twenties called Paul Taylor, whose award winning film is featured in yesterday’s edition of The Times.

The film, described by the movie magazine Variety as a ‘Celebration of Resilience” was shot on a shoestring budget with minimal crew. It tells the story of a South African orphanage for children who have lost their parents to AIDS and focuses on the Agape Children’s Choir. The film’s trailer talks about how important the healing of music is.

The Times say’s this of it

“It’s not hard to fathom why the film has been such a success - the spirit and optimism of the movie, or specifically its subjects, is as infectious and inspiring as the songs the children sing together in their daily choir practice. The choir is central, both to the film and to life at this chronically underfunded orphanage. It provides a valuable structure and routine for the children and a means to connect with the world outside.”
The Times

There has been much work done in music therapy with trauma, I found a website called Voices - a world forum on music therapy which had an important article on the work of music therapy and trauma and the following quote seems to demonstrate the healing power of singing and music as a way of building and maintaining resilience:

“The act of singing is empowering: sensing the life force flowing through the body; feeling one’s strength in the ability to produce strong and prolonged tones; experiencing one’s creativity in the process of making something beautiful; having the ability to move oneself and others; and hearing one’s own voice mirroring back the undeniable confirmation of existence. Owning one’s voice is owning one’s authority and ending a cycle of victimisation.”
(Austin, 2002, quoted on

“We are Together” is on release in UK from 7th March 2008 – I’ve already booked my ticket.

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