The Secret Life of Words [DVD]

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When people go through great amounts of pain and unbearable suffering, it takes a lot of time for them to be able to heal and go on with their lives.


The movie portrays the fragile remains of Hanna, a torture survivor from the Bosnian conflict. A trained burn unit nurse, she has gone through a counseling center in Copenhagen where her torture was documented by Inge and then made her way to work in a factory in Great Britain. She has post-tramatic stress disorder symptoms, including compulsive behavior, is nearly deaf and lives completely alone, attending to work every day, taking no sick leave or holidays. The union complains so she is directed to take a holiday. She goes to a seacoast village and overhears an oil company manager discussing the need for a live-in nurse for a burned oil platform worker on site in the North Sea. She volunteers to help, and begins to care for Josef who is temporarily blind and has face and arm burns from fighting a rig fire. He coaxes her story of torture from her, feeling the cuts scars on her chest in a remarkably poignant moment of truth. After he is transferred to hospital, she goes back to the factory. He talks to Inge and realizes the depth of suffering and the guilt of torture victims who survive. A moving love story, beautifully done, and unforgetable character development.

The film won (and was nominated for) the following awards:

Awards won:

• 2 ADIRCAE Awards
• Silver Ariel Award
• 3 Barcelona Film Awards
• Butaca Award
• 4 CEC Awards
• Fotogramas de Plata Award
• 4 Goya Awards
• Mayahuel Award
• Audience Award (Sant Jordi Awards)
• Sant Jordi Award
• Audience Award (Turia Awards)
• Turia Award
• Lina Mangiacapre Award

Nominated for:

• Silver Condor Award
• 5 Barcelona Film Awards
• Chlotrudis Award
• 4 CEC Awards
• European Film Award
• Goya Award
• Award of the Spanish Actors Union

Read full plot and other details at the IMDb web site.

This movie comes from our personal collection and only one piece is available

DVD rating
Rating - Like New
Like New: a DVD in perfect condition. The box or jewel case is clean and vivid, with no signs of wear.


Sarah Polley, Tim Robbins, Sverre Anker Ousdal, Javier Cámara, Danny Cunningham, Dean Lennox Kelly, Daniel Mays, Emmanuel Idowu, Eddie Marsan, Steven Mackintosh, Julie Christie, Reg Wilson, Leonor Watling, Daphne Brown, Muriel Hobson


Colour, PAL

Main soundtrack

Dolby Digital


OFF or Greek (selectable)


Region 2 

Aspect ratio


Number of discs





Cameo Media

Release date

25 April 2006 in the U.K.

Run time

110 minutes (1 hour 50 mins)





  • SKU: MOV-DOC-DRA-1003

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