6 DOCUMENTARY FILMS
The Why is currently working on 6 documentary films for the Why Slavery? series in collaboration with 6 independent and celebrated filmmakers.
MAID IN HELL
CAN AN EMPLOYMENT SYSTEM HIDE A REALITY OF TORTURE AND HUMILIATION?
35 year old Mary Kibwana is just one of thousands of women who lived through hell working as a domestic helper in Jordan. She is a mother of four and was lucky to return to her home in Kenya. She arrived in a wheelchair with 70 percent of her body burned. Two months later she died.
Harassment, abuse, rape and 18-hour work days are a commonplace reality for domestic helpers who have travelled to the Middle East to find employment. Trapped in the Kafala system, their passports are confiscated and they are bound to their employer. Unable to flee, they risk harsh punishments or imprisonments if they try.
‘Maid In Hell’ gives unprecedented access to this frightening and brutal form of modern slavery. Following employment agents who vividly describe the trade, as well as maids who struggle to find a way home after harrowing, and sometimes, deadly experiences, we come to understand the grotesque reality faced by thousands of women each day.
Director / SØREN KLOVBORG (DK) Producer / METTE HEIDE (DK)
IS POVERTY RAISING A GENERATION OF CHILDREN FOR SALE?
In the world’s largest democracy, India, millions of vulnerable children are bought and sold, given only what they need to survive another day. Throughout Indian society the mechanisms of bonded slave labor are insidious, powerful and nearly impossible to escape for children who have become trapped in a system driven by profits. An Indian born director looks behind the overwhelming statistics – revealing how the lack of education and persistent poverty provides a breeding ground for modern slavery.
In this film we follow the lives of children who have been denied a childhood and an education to be sold to work in mica mines, to pick tea leaves at plantations, to work as domestic helpers and even those of young girls who have been sold as brides. Their story, traced back to their families, exposes how perilous circumstances and a deep lack of knowledge about the meaning of slavery results in the of selling children.
Director / PANKAJ JOHAR (ND) Producer / ALAN HAYLING (UK)
CAN THERE BE JUSTICE AFTER GENOCIDE, SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND SLAVERY? In August 2014 an Islamic State massacre of unimaginable proportions took place during the rapid invasion of the Yazidi people in Sinjar, northern Iraq. Young Yazidi women were separated from the old and taken to the Galaxy Cinema in Mosul. There they were paraded, selected, enslaved, tortured and systematically raped. Some were only 11 years old.
In this film international lawyer Philippe Sands travels to Kurdish-Yazidi refugee camps in Dohuk and interviews escaped victims of IS on how they live in the aftermath of genocidal violence. Back in Europe Sands then encounters the son of Yazidi Kurdish immigrants Dr. Jan Kizilhan, a world-renowned trauma expert. Together they work to bring 1000 women and girls for treatment at Kizilhan’s clinic in Schwarzwald, Germany. We follow the Yazidi women’s journey to recovery and ask how a survivor of unthinkable sexual violence can find justice and a path to rehabilitation. This is their story.
Director / DAVID EVANS AND PHILIPPE SANDS (UK) Producer / NICHOLAS KENT (UK)
HOW DOES NORTH KOREA SELL THEIR OWN PEOPLE TO FUND ITS DANGEROUS REGIME?
Shrouded in secrecy and notoriously cash-strapped the North Korean regime has resorted to running one of the world’s largest slaving operations – exploiting the profits to fulfill their own agenda. These bonded laborers can be found in Russia, China and dozens of other countries around the world – including EU member states. Featuring under-cover footage and powerful testimonials ‘Dollar Heroes’ reveals the scale and brutality of the operation. With the promise of payment and honor, thousands of North Koreans are being sent abroad, only to find themselves under constant surveillance, working 12 hour days, in harsh conditions for wages that are transferred directly to the regime.
‘Dollar Heroes’ exposes the inner workings of the system and how companies and governments, bound by law to protect their employees, are complicit in the trade of human beings. The film asks how this method of operation is legal, and what – if anything – is being done to stop it.
Director / ANONYMOUS DURING PRODUCTION Producer / ANONYMOUS DURING PRODUCTION
U.S. PRISON SLAVES
HOW DO PRISONS PROFIT FROM CRIME?
In the last 30 years, America’s prison population has surged from 330,000 to 2.3 million inmates. In this deeply personal and provocative film, Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams sets out on a mission to investigate the prison system that has helped drive this explosive web of political, social, and economic forces that have consumed so many of Roger’s friends and family.
In his search for answers, Roger decides to go behind the scenes of America’s $80 billion dollar a year prison industrial complex. As he explores the network of companies who are involved in this business he uncovers a disturbing pattern of greed and corruption, as well as enormous financial incentives to keep inmate population high, and sentences long.
Director / ROGER ROSS WILLIAMS (US) Producer / FEMKE WOLTING (NL)