Unloved: Huronia’s Forgotten Children

Unloved: Huronias Forgotten Children

A heartbreaking yet redemptive work that moves outwards from a highly personal and painful family secret to an investigation of hidden, searing truths about an entire government-enabled system of institutional cruelty and ugliness against vulnerable children. Filmmaker Barri Cohen leads the audience in a part detective story, part social history, as she uncovers the truth about Alfie and Louis, her two long-dead half-brothers.

They were institutionalized at the Huronia Regional Centre in Orillia in the 1950s, with one brother unceremoniously buried in secret in an unmarked grave as a small child. Their lives were cut short, but their story stands as a microcosm of the immense tragedy caused by these institutions. Yet, humanity is hopefully restored by assembling community and survivor testimony, along with the filmmaker’s insistence that these experiences be fully recognized and memorialized.

…powerful, and eye-opening… …delivers a memorable documentary that brings to light voices that deserve to be heard…, Shayne Stolz, May 3, 2022, intheseats.ca

Awards and Nominations

Winner – Hot Docs, Toronto, 2022, Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary, Official Selection


Barri Cohen



Film Details

2022, 90 min