Photo courtesy of We Are Stronger Film
Justina Page is a woman who has helped many families deal with the aftermath of trauma. The Founder of the Amos House of Faith is herself a burn survivor and knows all too well the effects trauma has on a person’s life. Here she speaks to us about her role in the film “We Are Stronger” a movie aimed at changing the perception and reality of PTSD as it chronicles the journey of loss, hope and redemption.
We Are Stronger is a faith-based movie exploring a veteran’s battle with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Tell us your involvement with the project? How did you come to play the role of Aunt Hazel in the film?
I play the Aunt of the character Mia (Rachel Francis) who is the neighbor of the major character in the film Vic Raphael played by Ulises Larramendi— who returns back home from Afghanistan with injuries. How I became involved with the project, the producer of the film (Carla McDougal) is also an author and a speaker and I had been following her on Facebook because I liked a lot of the things she does and she just seemed to be a really good person. I thought, Wow! I would like to meet this person someday. At that point, I had no idea she did movies because this was not her first film. I then saw where she had a marriage conference, and while my husband and I had been married at that point 27 years… we had never been to a marriage conference before. I thought we should go and my husband agreed. It was remarkable! And this is how I came to meet the producer of the film. Fast forward I heard the spirit of God tell me to clear my schedule…clear some days because I was to be in a movie. My honest response was…where was a movie just going to pop out of thin air? But I told a couple of my friends and one said to me, “Justina, the Lord shows you things and you need to go ahead and do that” (clear out my schedule). So I did just that and by the weekend the producer called me and said she needed an (aunt) for this movie they were producing and that I seemed to be a great fit and if I would you be interested? Wallah! There I was in the movie.
Photos courtesy of We Are Stronger Film — (l) Justina Page and Husband at the “We Are Stronger” Movie Premiere; (top r) Red carpet; (bottom r) Movie Cast
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and to talk about PTSD, it not only affects military veterans but police officers, firefighters and everyday citizens. What will this movie do for the many Americans suffering from some form of mental illness?
The first thing is hope. A lot of people who suffer from mental illness feel no hope. The second thing is they feel alone like they are the only one. This leads to those who are suffering to go into solitude and because of the stigma of mental illness they don’t talk about it and oftentimes don’t have a name for what they are feeling. The movie also shows solutions and at the ending of the film there are resources available to anyone no matter if you are a firefighter, policeman, victim of rape or burn survivor; there are real hands on people ready to assist those affected by trauma to lead them into a healthier place.
Congratulations on the huge turnout of the movie premiere that took place May 13th. Why do you think so many people came out to support the film? And if you could speak for a few of them what would you say was their takeaway after having watched it?
It’s a really good movie! And people came to see the film because it deals with real issues. It’s a timely topic where people are ready for some type of solution when talking about PTSD. It’s one thing to present…it’s another thing to deliver and answer. Again, people are looking for answers so just the topic itself drew many to come out to the premiere. As far as the takeaway I have heard some really powerful things but what was created in the midst of filming this movie is an entity of its own called “The Stronger Alliance” which is a group of faith-based organizations that help people who suffer from PTSD no matter where that falls on spectrum and who it effects. People have already utilized The Stronger Alliance services and to be honest it started basically before the trailer of the film was released and well before the movie premiere.
As a burn survivor and Founder of the Amos House of Faith (an organization helping families with burn trauma), how were you able to relate to the movie from your own personal experiences?
From those who I serve. From those who I run across all the time in my work, not only in my non-profit but through all of the different burn organziations that I interfaith with and am a part of.
Will the movie be shown in other theaters across the U.S.? And will you be doing more acting in the future?
There will be a mass distribution across the nation in September. Prior to this happening people can go to the strongermovie.com website to request premieres in their city and this starts, June. 1st. And as far as more acting in the future…God only knows <laugh>!
Please share where we can watch the movie and stay connected to supporting organizations which help people suffering from PTSD.
STRONGER is a faith-based movie exploring a veteran’s battle with PTSD. As he struggles to recover from his injuries, reclaim his marriage, and fit back into the civilian world, our vet learns he can’t do it by himself. Reflective Life Ministries is working closely with Mighty Oaks Warriors, the Amos House of Faith and many other organizations. Our prayer is to raise awareness of PTSD and the hope Christ offers for healing.
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