Contro la tratta, Wells of Hope

Arab women against trafficking: the symbology in “Wells of Hope”

Arab women against trafficking in our documentary “Wells of Hope”.

Arab women against trafficking in the documentary Wells of Hope: springs, wells, travellers of hope… The themes that we deal with in Aurora’s documentaries are often very hard. When we go filming, we find a lot of difficulties, often we move in the shadows, without being noticed. Sometimes we spend hours and hours with the police to explain what we do, other times we run away quickly…

Storytellers of hope. In the most difficult situations I find myself looking for that hidden light, that flower in the desert, that refreshing breeze of wind. Only in this way can I show stories of kidnappings, violations, killings, abuses, escapes are in with my gaze turned to that one faint light of a tiny candle.

“Wells of Hope” started with the meeting with Sr. Gabriella Bottani, a force of nature, the coordinator of the network against trafficking Talitha Kum . She told me about a group of Arab women against trafficking. They are women of different religions who are committed in the Middle East against trafficking in human beings. You can support the work of these extraordinary women by watching the film with a donation.

Originally, the destination for our story was Lebanon, but a few days before the departure clashes broke out in Beirut, and the area was closed to transit. We could have decided to stop, but we chose to change our destination, and we went to Jordan, where the Lebanese women joined us and we connected with the Syrian ones.

Where we filmed

Jordan is a beautiful land, very welcoming and open to the world. We haven’t had a lot of time to visit it as tourists. I’ll be back sooner or later. The first difficulty was in organizing filming, in planning work, but we were assisted from above in every phase. Every place where we set up the set had a particular symbolic meaning, nothing was left to chance or comfort.
The atmospheres of the desert are portrayed in the article “The art of the picnic”.

The thread of the dramatic story of organ trafficking was entrusted to the storyteller Drusa Nassim Alwan. She is also the humanitarian worker who worked to discover the case. The place where we filmed is in a desert area, the site of an ancient trafficking route.

Wells of Hope, the teaser.

The visual path unfolds around symbolic images of the elements.


Water – memory of the biblical rivers, of the sea that opens for the liberation of God’s people, of the water of the Jordan that liberates . The water of the initial images is the “Source of Moses”, traditionally the destination of pilgrimages and prayers. The other spring, the one that the name “Wells of Hope” reminds us, is called “Source of Lawrence”, because in that place was the operational base of Lawrence of Arabia.


The air – from the storm wind to the light breeze, which marks the passage of God. At the tents of Bedouin children blows storm wind, they are beaten by life and the weather. They struggle to stand due to the harshness of existence. And Nassim begins the story in the impetuous wind, which gradually becomes softer, until it becomes a light breeze.


The earth – the steps over the desert, the sand, the stones, are a common thread that symbolizes the path of victims of trafficking, but not only. It also wants to be a recognition of the path of liberation that calls every human being. The earth welcomes the wounded feet, and the earth restores vigor. The paths in the film are routes of hidden migrations. And an image shows us different rocks, full of hope, called “The 7 pillars of wisdom”.


The fire – is present in several places in the film. At first we see it as a destructive element in wartime, observed through the eyes of children. Then it is a small fire that warms the nights of those who flee through the desert. Further on is the flame in the kitchen, which is necessary to serve the food that unites. Finally it is the flame of the candle in the sanctuary of St. George where women and men, Christian and Muslim, pray. It is the candle that does not extinguish, the flame that always prays.

Nassim concludes with a traditional Berber song and a smile that rekindles hope. The strength that comes from these Arab women against trafficking is great. As long as there is even one person who exposes himself and commits himself against trafficking, the flame is not extinguished.

Nassim Alwan, storyteller from Lebanon committed against trafficking, is the protagonist of Wells of Hope.

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