"Far From The Tree" Hits Home
The Disney short film, “Far From The Tree”, written and directed by Natalie Nourigat, which is the short film for “Encanto”, highlighted some deep-rooted emotions of parents who have a traumatic past.
Within this short film, there is a mother and a baby raccoon who leave their tree to go searching for food on a local beach. The mother raccoon appears to have been through some form of trauma because one of her eyes has a scratch which has caused her eye to be closed. The scene opens with the mother raccoon directing her child to stay in a semi-secure location while the mother walks on the beach to obtain food.
As the mother raccoon walks away, you can tell by the baby raccoon’s expression that coming to the beach is a new and exciting place that she is intrigued by. With a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed expression, the baby raccoon leaves the space that her mother has directed her to stay in. The mother raccoon repeatedly directs her child to stay where she told her to stay. With each interaction, you can see how the expression of fear behind the mother’s face is expressed through anger. Without, spoiling the rest of the film the baby raccoon, who now has her own visible wounds, eventually grows up to have her own child and is presented with a similar situation in which she has a choice to either repeat history or respond to her child’s curiosity in a better way.
This short film truly touched my heart. As I watched the first mother raccoon continue to redirect her child, it reminded me of the many mothers across this world who, with good intentions, fear that something bad will happen to their children. Mainly because a traumatic experience has already happened in their own past. That fear can show up in the appearance of anger and children don’t necessarily understand why their mother’s face shows such pain.
Similar to the mother raccoon, many of our clients arrive battered and broken and all they want to do is keep their children safe. Once they have taken the bold step to leave an abusive relationship, we make it our goal to ensure that not only are the mothers provided with shelter, but their children are supplied with additional opportunities to just be a child, have fun and explore this new environment.
Everyone in this world is a product of their environment, what we see and experience as children influences who we become as adults. We will either repeat history or do something different. That is why at Partnership Against Domestic Violence we make it our absolute priority to nurture each child who arrives at our shelter door.
All domestic violence and homeless shelters should have a children’s advocacy program that ensures every child that arrives can be a child. There are plenty of things to be afraid of in this world, but helping children not get consumed by the cares of this world, helps them thrive. “Far From the Tree” truly captured how important this is.
Written by: Katha Blackwell