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Bigger Than Trauma

Winner of the prestigious award at the Sarajevo Film Festival for the best film dealing with human rights topics, this remarkable debut by two young women depicts the healing process of a group of women who found the courage to deal with their personal trauma thirty years later. This complex story of empowerment has been also selected for the competition at the Hot Docs festival in Toronto.


Croatia | 2022 | 91 min

PRODUCTION: Mirta Puhlovski – Metar60; HRT

SCREENPLAY: Vedrana Pribacic, Mirta Puhlovski


EDITING: Marta Broz

SOUND: Dario Domitrovic, Frano Homen, Tihomir Vrbanec


Marija feels she doesn’t deserve to be free, Katica finds change terrifying and Ana describes herself as a lonely little duckling. They are just three of the many rape victims who lived in silence for 25 years without any support or help from the state, and often in the vicinity of their abusers (former friends and schoolmates). Pushed to the limits of their physical and mental strength, these women are unable to break away from the past and take control of their lives. The change comes after they embark on an unconventional healing program and slowly begin to face their fears, leading to greater confidence and the realisation that they are bigger than their traumas.

Director’s statement

I made a film about women, civil victims of war, whose suffering is not communicated enough in my society…They are the heroines of our society because they took on the responsibility and faced themselves in order to change their lives. It took a great deal of courage to face the unknown and allow us to film it. I was in the right place and witnessed this great transformation at the right time.

Saturday 26.11. / 17:00h / ZAAL 4

Sunday 27.11/ 17:30h / ZAAL 3

The screening will be followed by Q&A with director Vedrana Pribacic.

Festivals & Awards (selection)

HotDocs, Toronto 2022 | ZagrebDox – Audience Award, Special Mention | Sarajevo Film Festival – Human Rights Award ( Documentary Competition) | Croatian Film Days – Ethics and Human Rights Award, Golden Oil Lamp Award, Audience Award, Special Mention | Liburnia Film Festival – Audience Award | Verzio Film Festival – Jury Special Mention | Free Zone Film Festival – Jury Special Mention | Croatian candidate for Goya Awards

Director’s bio

Vedrana Pribacic (1977) is a Croatian journalist, director, and screenwriter. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Zagreb and has been working as a TV reporter and editor-in-chief on various TV channels ( NOVA TV, RTL, CNN World View ). After a successful first documentary which was filmed in 2016 for national television, Pribacic started to develop her director’s debut “Bigger Than Trauma” in 2017. With this project, she took part in several professional pitching forums and workshops such as Docu Rough Boutique (Sarajevo FF & Balkan Documentary Centre 2020) and Rough Cut Lab Movies that Matter (Haag, 2021).