PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS

"This is a powerful film, a documentary for our troubled times. With honesty and depth, it explores, both the raw pain of trauma, and engages hope for healing in ourselves and in our communities. It is a statement that I hope our educators and policy makers will watch and learn from."

Peter A Levine, PhD, 

Author of ‘Waking the Tiger, Healing Trauma’ and ‘In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body

Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness.’

“Through the voice of survivors this stunning movie powerfully illustrates people’s complex reactions to trauma and their arduous journeys back to health and to being fully alive in the present. The participants interviewed in this movie are formidable witnesses of how much courage it takes to face what has happened, and provide us with a guide to what it takes to recover and regain agency over one’s life."

Bessel van der Kolk

Author of ‘The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma’

"Powerful and empowering, this is a deeply informative and cinematically beautiful documentary film capturing the truth about trauma and the necessary steps toward healing we each can learn from.  Luke Renner’s cutting edge exploration of the science of how adversity impacts us and what we can do to bring health into our lives is both a factually accurate and autobiographically gripping narrative that invites us to reflect on our own lives and how we can create a more caring and compassionate world. A work of heart, What Lies Inside is a gift to the world that will keep on giving hope and healing for us all"

Dan Siegel, M.D.

Author of ‘Aware,’ ‘The Developing Mind,’ and ‘The Power of Showing Up’

“What Lies Inside” is sublime, an important awakening to the consciousness, pervasiveness, and secrecy around trauma that keeps so much of humanity hurting far too long. The way Luke has woven his personal story into and around the stories of so many others formed a beautiful tapestry of the many aspects of trauma. His own raw vulnerability and love brought both inspiration and tears. 

Maggie Kline, M.S., LMFT, SEP

Author of ‘Brain-Changing Strategies to Trauma-Proof Our Schools: A Heart-Centered Movement for Wiring Well-Being’

“What Lies Inside” is an important film exploring the typically sealed history of what actually goes on in children’s lives, and how toxic childhood experiences frequently play out in whom they become, as well as determining their adult biomedical status.  Importantly, it provides this disturbing information in small tolerable doses, making less likely the avoidance that is so prevalent now.  “What Lies Inside” is a meaningful step toward much needed understanding and change.

Vincent J. Felitti, MD

Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California; co-Principal Investigator of the ACE Study

AUDIENCE REVIEWS

"What Lies Inside" is a marvelous, heart wrenching, eye opening experience left me in awe.”

  • Alex Amick

“This is a dangerously beautiful film that could very well bring you to a place of dealing with situations in your own life that have caused you to become stuck in a place where life is difficult and colorless. You are given full permission to pursue healing you might have once believed unattainable. This film is beautifully done, beautifully shot, and beautiful in its intentions. I highly recommend it.”

  • Bill Roberts

What a stunning piece of film art with an incredibly important message. Thank you for making this film. I am a marriage and family therapy student at a seminary and plan to share this with my professors and student colleagues. It's so beautifully done, the cinematography is absolutely stunning, and it is relevant to not only my studies, but to the current climate of our world. Outstanding work, crew!

  • brice-4027025 November 2020

What a stunning piece of film art with an incredibly important message. Thank you for making this film. I am a marriage and family therapy student at a seminary and plan to share this with my professors and student colleagues. It's so beautifully done, the cinematography is absolutely stunning, and it is relevant to not only my studies, but to the current climate of our world. Outstanding work, crew!

  • brice-4027025 November 2020

I was skeptical at first. Prepared to be entertained with a film that "was about him." After about 30 minutes, I thought "This film isn't about him, it's about them." It hit me hard when I realized, that ultimately, it was about me...and you. Beautifully shot and expertly crafted, Mr. Renner invites you on a difficult journey of his own self-discovery, introduces you to sympathetic "real" people who are genuine and disarming with their vulnerability as they share their own stories of trauma, all while real professionals provide context for the experience. By the end, the viewer is left with questions about their own journey, but with tangible solutions they can take with them should they choose to begin their own quest for healing. As a lifelong educator, I fully endorse this beautiful film and urge those who work with broken people to add it to their tool kit.

  • richarvey-7536025 November 2020

I was skeptical at first. Prepared to be entertained with a film that "was about him." After about 30 minutes, I thought "This film isn't about him, it's about them." It hit me hard when I realized, that ultimately, it was about me...and you. Beautifully shot and expertly crafted, Mr. Renner invites you on a difficult journey of his own self-discovery, introduces you to sympathetic "real" people who are genuine and disarming with their vulnerability as they share their own stories of trauma, all while real professionals provide context for the experience. By the end, the viewer is left with questions about their own journey, but with tangible solutions they can take with them should they choose to begin their own quest for healing. As a lifelong educator, I fully endorse this beautiful film and urge those who work with broken people to add it to their tool kit.

  • richarvey-7536025 November 2020

As a teacher in an urban school district where almost every child has been subjected to trauma in some form, I am thrilled to see this taboo issue explored with such intimate integrity. Director Luke Renner blends emotion, personal struggle and science perfectly to tell a human story, that until now, we have been afraid to face. Every educator who believes in being "Trauma Informed" should make this film a part of their professional development and SEL teaching.

  • ronhanson-9323727 November 2020

"What Lies Inside" is an incredibly personal, artful, and deeply helpful exploration of trauma. As someone who lives with trauma myself (and works with a community of highly traumatized minorities), I am deeply grateful for this film. While it shouldn't be viewed lightly, it should be watched widely.

  • jamiearpinricci27 November 2020

What Lies Inside is one of those productions which for a while after you've been lucky enough to watch it- you're speechless. Whether it has upset you, inspired you, educated you - or all three, it's impossible not to deeply reflect on what you've just seen. This documentary truly is one of a kind!

  • erakers26 November 2020

Sometimes the artist doesn't know what the picture will be until the final stroke of their brush. Similarly, this film will take you on a journey to what looks like a predictable end, but instead, the director's stunningly visual sleight of hand redirects the trip into unexpected, beautiful depths. Whether you are a victim of trauma or not, you need to see this film, because someone in your life needs you to watch. For the traumas in the past, for the traumas we may be experiencing now, and for the traumas yet to come, we need this to learn how to love our neighbors and ourselves. I will watch again, and encourage my friends, family and strangers to do the same.

  • timoyler26 November 2020

This film is life changing, very educational and beautifully filmed. Even if you think you know about trauma, it's worth watching for a deeper, more personal, more complex view of how trauma impacts us each uniquely, and powerfully.

As a licensed psychologist and professor of graduate counseling, I will be recommending this documentary to the future therapists I work with, and to clients who struggle with putting together the puzzle of their pasts. Trauma is not stored in our brains like other pleasant or boring events, it is often stored in the body. Knowing this helps immensely with the healing process.

Be sure you keep watching all the way through the movie, even if you struggle to relate at the beginning with the first individual story; the message expands as it progresses, and I encourage you to take the entire journey...the end is worth it!

The variety of trauma experts and survivors interviewed in this film enrich and heighten the experience. You'll have an understanding of trauma usually reserved for experts in the field, because you'll be exposed to so many of them, with helpful narrative examples to understand more difficult concepts.

Enjoy the film. For many of us, What Lies Inside is asking to be seen, understood, digested and processed as a part of our unique life histories. It's well worth the time.

  • Erin M. Davis, PhD, HSPP (Health Service Provider in Psychology), or Licensed Psychologist