In 2019 it was reported that there were over two million couples that were married in the United States. In that same year there were also over 700,000 divorces and annulments. The separation phase before the actual divorce is one of the most crucial times in a person’s life. A couple goes from beautiful wedding bliss to living separately. In some cases, co-parenting, housing, finances and more become an uphill battle during the separation.
Filmmaker, Sunnie McFadden-Curtis has curated the multi-award winning documentary known as Broken Vows: Stories of Separation. The documentary film has won awards at the Sunset Film Festival, Cannes International Cinema Festival, Impact Doc Awards, Golden State Film Festival and a host of others.
Presented by Benchboy Productions Incorporated, this documentary highlights one of the most psychologically exhausting times in some women’s lives. The documentary follows women during their everyday life while they undergo the turmoil that can be associated with a separation. The heartwarming stories follow their personal lives, challenges and reality of going from one union to being single. The film depicts the life-altering time in a woman’s life and how it truly affects your persona, outlook on life and beyond.
“The inspiration was my influx of friends who were being sequestered through the court system for years due to their separations. I also went through a separation myself,” Sunnie states.
Her filmmaking process began before the pandemic. Once the pandemic hit she had to pivot in order to complete the documentary process. “The pandemic enabled me to complete the project. Here in Toronto, we were on lockdown. We completed the documentary through working on the computer despite the pandemic and ongoing race riots,” Sunnie continued.
Her firsthand experience in dealing with a separation is also what makes this project evenmore authentic. Sunnie has seen how a separation can take a toll on your life. However, she encourages women to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“Take care of yourself; and remember that you too, can walk through the darkness to the light,” she adds on giving advice to women facing separation.
When facing a separation, having a support system is key as well. The documentary not only highlights real life stories but how to overcome the challenges. A part of overcoming the challenges involves a person’s ‘village’. “Family members and the ‘village’ needs to reach out to the individual going through the separation to simply listen at times. It’s not always about giving advice, but just listening or checking in on them to be there for them,” she continues.
“A separation is an especially dark time in a woman’s life, especially if she has children,” Sunnie continues. Oftentimes our village may ask how they can help and it’s the simple things such as listening and babysitting that can make a major difference.
The acclaimed Broken Vows: Stories of Separation documentary also includes a digital resource directory. The resources provide area sources to assist women during their separation. The resources span over six volumes and are a guide to help women navigate through the process to make informed decisions. The volumes include resources for legal help, wellness, domestic abuse, dating after separation, finances and more.
“It won’t be easy, but you can do it,” Sunnie shares. Sunnie is a true advocate and activist for change. She is effectively using her personal experiences and outreach methods to lay the foundation for improving the lives of women who are facing a separation.
Connect with Sunnie on Instagram at @sunniebiz13 and @brokenvowsdocumentary. Follow her brand on Twitter at @stopthesilence and on Facebook at @smcfaddencurtis & @brokenvowsfilm.