Because I’ve been there, is a short film about two young indigenous girls struggling with life at home and the hectic world that surrounds them; both expressing their pain in different ways. Tracy not knowing how to relieve the stress and pain of home life, bully’s and belittles Michelle in an attempt to put her pain on someone else. Home for her is broken, her mother passed away at a young ages, and her dad is a drunk. For Michelle life holds two parents with a broken relationship constantly fighting, and forgetting about her.
Tracy not being able to handle the pain, with no one to support her decides to take her life. Her dad passed out dunk again, not know the horrific thing his daughter has planned, she grabs a rope from the other room knowing well what she’s going to do. As Michelle sits at the dinner table, parents fighting again hears the howl of an owl, being the only one to notice. The ancestors warning her and leading her to find Tracy with a noose wrapped around her neck ready to take her life. Tracy is begging for Michelle to leave to finish what she started, even threatening to beat her if she doesn’t. Michelle refuses to leave because she has been in the same position standing in the same spot with the noose tied around her neck. Tracy explains what life is like at home, having a new support system and friend.
We decided to write this film because of the lack of talk about the suicide rate in our indigenous communities. We also wanted to talk about how people reflect their home life and feeling onto others, showing how Tracy’s life was full of pain, and reflected it onto others. We made this film to raise awareness of bullying and suicides that are happening in our native communities. To let youth know that it is okay to talk about things like this, that we need to talk about things like this. It is a very strong topic to talk about but we can’t keep pushing it under a rug like it is nothing, this is a lot bigger than nothing. This is our kids, our family, our friends, our world, this is our everything, and we can’t treat it like nothing. We need to start healing together because that’s how we use to do it, together.