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When nothing is spoken, nothing can be lost.

Filmmaker Margot Nash (Vacant Possession, MIFF 1995) turns her acclaimed documentary lens on herself in The Silences, a haunting and deeply moving attempt to exhume the unspoken secrets and tragedies of her own childhood.

Torn between a father whose mental illness defined every aspect of daily life and a mother whose crippling depression she didn't discover until she began making The Silences, Nash offers a raw first-person account of growing up in an age when the shame of mental illness meant that such matters were never discussed, even with one's own family.

Built from family archives, letters, oral histories and excerpts of her own cinema, the result is a powerful depiction of the painful and often hidden toll of mental illness and the inspiring resilience of a woman who had to learn the messy business of living from two people who could never discover the conditions of their own happiness.

Margot Nash is a festival guest.