In the stunning NSW Southern Highlands, a revolutionary program is restoring hope - for humans and horses alike.
To find a cinema screening near you and purchase tickets for this powerful documentary, visit good.film/thehealing
The Healing introduces us to horseman Scott Brodie, Director of the Thoroughbred and Veteran Welfare Alliance, and his picturesque ‘office’. Nestled amid dramatic gorges and the beautiful natural bushland of New South Wales’ Kangaroo Valley lies Scott’s ranch, Barranca, where he runs his unique program - bringing together traumatised ex-racehorses with former military veterans and first responders, for their mutual rehabilitation.
It’s a pairing with an unexpected similarity. In their relentless quest for a champion, thousands of racehorses are discarded each year by the Australian racing industry, with many suffering trauma and misery. Likewise, after serving their country, thousands of Defence Force personnel retire each year - and, left with a lack of structure and often substantial trauma, many go on to experience mental health issues, homelessness and suicide.
The Healing is a timely film. It provides a gently powerful insight into why, tragically, THIRTY TIMES more Australian military personnel and veterans have died by suicide than have been killed in combat since the year 2000.
Scott has retrained and rehomed more than 500 ex-racehorses, and helped over 200 ex-military personnel and former first responders readjust to the next chapter of their lives back in “the real world”. The Healing introduces us to four of them, arriving at Barranca to undergo Scott’s five-day rehabilitation program for themselves.
There’s Mel, an ex-Navy Chaplain. Max, a former Federal Policeman. Georgie, who entered the Navy aged just 17. And Sam, an infantry soldier in a former life. They’ve tried hospital programs, traditional therapy and medication, with minimal results. Now, this feels like their final hope.
On the first morning, there’s an air of apprehension from the horses and veterans alike. Gradually, it’s revealed how each group has suffered trauma. Around the comfort of a log fire, Scott explains that the vets will see a lot of parallels between themselves and the horses’ plight (the thoroughbreds are donated by owners and breeders for Scott to retrain).
This has to be one of the best films Ive seen this year. I don’t think I’ve ever heard first hand from Australia veterans or first responders how they have struggled with trauma – its quite straight and to the point. And then to see how their work with the horses changes them – and seeing how at least some of them end up in a much more positive place…
Something that really struck me about this film is what happens when we accept that some things can break us. It’s so important that we really acknowledge this and figure out a way to accept that it can happen. Acknowledging brokenness means that we’ll then do everything possible to change the causes for the breaking. Accepting it allows us to help ourselves, and one another, to heal. Being broken doesn’t…
The Healing leaves you understanding the crippling impact PTSD has on a person and shows how the scars left from the mistreatment of human and animal can be healed with empathy and support. The program developed by Scott Brodie and his team is remarkable. The Healing stays with you long after you leave the theatre. A beautiful story not to be missed.
I had the fortune to witness this documentary and was deeply touched and moved in what was powerfully captured on film that this was a worthwhile project with a sense of hope and this will resonate such an awareness towards our local communities. I do not hesitate recommending this documentary.
If you have ever suffered trauma and felt helplessness and isolation this film is for you. See how helping ex racehorses can help you reconnect in the world again. Brilliant film. Much watch for all.
The Healing is an incredibly moving story about the relationship between veterans with PTSD and horses traumatised by the racing industry. Working one on one under the direction of Scott Brodie, a trusting relationship develops with benefits for both parties. It’s beautifully photographed and you can see the gradual improvement in the veterans mood as a trusting and joyous experience takes place. The horses learn that they will be treated…