Terror and Hope wins Best Documentary at the 2020 Sci-On Film Festival

Film Trailer


Terror and Hope: The Science of Resilience is a story about children and war. It’s about stress so severe and prolonged it can become toxic.  It’s about scientists and humanitarians working to provide hope in what can seem like a pretty hopeless world.  And it’s the story of courageous Syrian families raising their children in the face of violence and oppression - their past defined by terror, their future driven by hope.

A Documentary Film by Ron Bourke

"In this amazing exploration into the experience of displaced Syrians we discover the truth about resilience, that it demands a collective effort if people are to recover and grow. As we come to see, to be compassionate is to help another build resilience.”

Michael Ungar, Ph.D. 

Director, Resilience Research Centre, Dalhousie University 

Author of Change Your World: The Science of Resilience and the True Path to Success

Current neurological and behavioral science offers insights that could have a lasting impact on how we help these children of war to break the cycle of violence.  For peace to be even remotely possible, we will need a generation of young people with the capacity to positively adapt to adversity.  


Terror and Hope follows neurological and behavioral teams from Yale, Harvard and Hashemite Universities; Humanitarian program developers and coordinators in the U.S. and Jordan; and most notably, young researchers and humanitarian volunteers.  If there’s hope for the future of refugee children and youth, it’s due in large part to the teams of aid workers and researchers putting science to work for the oppressed and vulnerable.  Terror and Hope tells their story.

Science Powered by Compassion

“I was very impressed with the film and its unique angle. In my experience as a global health research and policy analyst, most films about humanitarian crises, even those related to health, are mainly about disaster relief and immediate response. Very few films that I am aware of have a research lens.  I think a screening would be a unique opportunity for my colleagues to understand the meaningful and personal impact research can have.” 

Blythe Beecroft

"Perhaps one of the most powerful moments this semester was while watching the “Terror and Hope” video. In this video, a particular quote stuck out to me: 'Your biggest strength as a human is your compassion. If we don’t have compassion for ourselves, and we don’t have compassion for others, we are lost' This revelation led me to think about the video long after I had stopped watching. Once compassion is established, experiences are enriched and, through true understanding and collaboration, results become more feasible."    


Rachel Kleiman, Student, University of Richmond

Educational Distribution

DVD's and site licenses are available to universities, schools, private and governmental organizations and libraries from COLLECTIVE EYE FILMS:  https://www.collectiveeye.org

Where to Watch

For individuals, Terror and Hope: The Science of Resilience is now available to stream in Australia and New Zealand through

FILMS FOR CHANGE;   https://filmsforchange.stream

Learn More

To mark World Refugee Day 2020, two global online discussions featured the director and participants in the film. 

Featuring Professor Catherine Panter-Brick, Yale Univ.; Matt Streng, Mercy Corps and Director Ron Bourke

Featuring Professor Rana Dajani, Hashemite Univ; Hend Maaytah, Mercy Corps Jordan and Director Ron Bourke

Photo © Ron Bourke 2017

TERROR & HOPE is funded in part by the Regional Arts & Culture Council

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Website and photos © 2017-2020 Ron Bourke Films LLC. Videos copyright by their respective owners.