- Than -

There's a healthy part in all of us that is bigger than trauma
recognized and awarded by

About movie

Bigger than trauma is a documentary feature awarded internationally. It had it's national premiere in April 2022 at Zagrebdox in Croatia and international at HOTDOCS in Canada.
Bigger than trauma is a beautiful movie about a group of women from Vukovar discovering who they could be without the trauma they’re identified with, and it’s changing their life and relations
Women whose families were killed during the Croatian war for independence; who were enslaved, tortured, and raped, but survived, kept silent for 25 years.
Many families still live surrounded by trauma, exist in the past, unable to move forward.
Frictions within the group erupt along cultural lines, reinforcing past pain, but it's precisely what's needed to cultivate acceptance and peace.
From collateral damage of war, they transform into empowered women.

Main Protagonists


The experience of tragedy has taken over every aspect of Marija's life. The trauma she has experienced still echoes in her everyday life. It is holding her back and she constantly lives in fear.


Katica is hiding in the darkness, afraid to be herself. She puts on a front and tries to act tough, even though she is hurting inside. She has never revealed her true story to anyone, including her family.


Ana feels like doesn’t belong anywhere, and she can’t get along with the rest of the group. Her deepest desire is to fit in and feel accepted.

About Program 


The program was initiated by Marija Slišković, an active public speaker and champion for the rights of civilian victims of war crimes, who lobbied for the creation of a law on wartime sexual violence. 
Trauma left untreated for over twenty years has affected every aspect of these women’s lives - eroding their physical and emotional well-being as well as their intimate relationships and social contacts. 
The unconventional integrative systemic therapy shown in the film was developed especially to support and help women victims of wartime sexual violence, to improve the quality of their everyday lives

Group therapy team

  • Branka Devčić
    PHD - Systemic Coaching
    Emina Simunić
    MAG.PSYCH - Psychotherapy
  • Hrvoje Vitturi
    BACC. PHYSIO. - Feldenkrais pr.
    Zvonka Tomasović Hrkovac
    D.O. SEP - Osteopathy

Director & Writer

I made a film about women, civil victims of war, whose suffering is not communicated enough in my society. During the War for Croatian Independence, this was happening just few hundred kilometers from my city. I felt threatened, but those women went through hell. The healing process that took place over the last few years has changed their lives, and it was difficult and very intense for me as well.
Vedrana Pribačić

Producer & Writer

The war has ended but, for some, the peace never came. Society has rebuilt itself but that inner war remained, dividing us from within. Unhealed trauma was called an illness, a social issue, aggression, alcoholism, PTSD, and so it goes in circles, exploding or imploding from time to time.
Rape is a weapon of war but stigmatization and silence became a weapon of peace for these women.
Mirta Puhlovski

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