Produced in Melbourne by filmmakers Chris & Kerri Schwarze, Mosaic is focussed on a timely discussion about the impact of early childhood trauma on brain development, and the problem of youth homelessness. Specifically, Mosaic asks: How can we most effectively care for traumatised children? What are the subtle (and often not so subtle) ways trauma impacts on individual brain chemistry, and cuts across space, time, and generations? How can we collaborate to break this vastly complex cycle? And what are the major barriers to achieving this?
Melding traditional expository elements — such as interviews, personal stories, archival footage, and narration — with animation, we glean critical insights from survivors and social welfare advocates with the courage to share their personal battles and victories. We explore alternative approaches to working with traumatised children. We speak to neuroscientists who are conducting cutting-edge research on the way trauma shapes brain development. We unearth new imaginings of home, family and community from well-known philanthropists and unsung heroes alike. We galvanise dialogue — all the more timely against the backdrop of sweeping welfare reform in Australia, and widespread alarm at rising youth unemployment, ice addiction and suicide rates resounding in the media.
By offering stories of hope and positive outcomes of intervention, we aim to raise the awareness of the personal and financial impact on society of untreated traumatized children. With awareness comes action. Action by the government, by organizations, by individuals. Only by change of community standards will this overwhelming problem be truly addressed. This film will be a part of that change. It is estimated that in Australia, 80 billion dollars could be saved if the issue of childhood trauma was correctly addressed within childhood (Kezelman 2015). The film therefore, will also find an audience across government decision makers, and will ultimately affect policy. It now makes clear financial sense to take a therapeutic, rather than punitive, response to the homeless and the traumatised.