Marika Pratley

The Healing Power of The Sloth

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The Healing Power of the Sloth is an autobiographical documentary by award-nominated composer Marika Pratley, investigating the relationship between the recovery of sexual violence trauma with the production of music and art.

In this documentary, Marika reflects on a period of her life when she had a major trauma memory from her childhood become unblocked, which coincided with the birth of Marika's composition A Symphony of Sloths. This documentary will focus on the ways she utilized engaging meditative practices within her music compositions (A Symphony of Sloths, Music for Baths, Telesthesia of Time) and performance art to recuperate her sense of self and develop survival strategies, whilst learning how to manage the long term challenges of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Footage for this documentary will also include several interviews with family members, friends, and collaborators - including Marika's sister, performance concept artist/activist Heleyni Pratley, author and childhood friend Max Harris, her mother Dr Athena Gavriel, friend and Māori LBGTQI activist Kassie Hartendorp, and other academics, artists, and activists Marika has known or worked with over the years.

The Healing Power of the Sloth will also be following Marika on her upcoming music tour in Greece and Cyprus, where she will perform A Symphony of Sloths, and reflect on concepts from Dr Athena Gavriel's PhD thesis exploring cultural safety and mental health of Greek NZ diaspora, and what that means for her own trauma recovery.


The wider themes of the film

Other themes explored in this documentary extend to identifying concepts relating to intersectional feminism - body and sex positivity, Marika's queer identity, and Greek and Cypriot heritage. She asks questions about the complexities of understanding trauma within the politicised conditions created through oppression, and the relevance that understanding wider issues in society can have within the healing process. Marika reflects on her own experiences within wider movements which challenge rape culture such as slut walk, #metoo, and other trauma epidemics caused by socially normalised violent and oppressive behaviours within our society.


Why Marika is producing this film

The core motivation of producing The Healing Power of The Sloth is to investigate how Marika producing her own film can contribute to her reclaiming agency within her own experience of sexual violence trauma recovery, but also how we as a society can enhance resources for education around what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is, how we can better support victims/survivors of trauma, and how we could better prevent trauma incidents occurring to begin with, especially those relating to family violence, sexual violence and war. Once the film is ready, Marika intends to apply for the film to be screened at festivals internationally and look into distribution that will make it as accessible to as wide an audience as possible, regardless of their socioeconomic situation.

How you can help

Every penny donated to this campaign will enable Marika to achieve this goal, contributing to costs in multiple aspects of production.

These costs include travel expenses, people power, and technical resources, such as accessing professional film equipment for film and sound production, and the editing equipment needed within post-production. Every donation will ensure the film will be made to a professional standard, and contribute to the long term goal of having it screened through international festivals and streaming platforms.