SISTERS FOR SALE

An inspiring true story of hope, courage, & freedom

SISTERS FOR SALE

An inspiring true story of hope, courage, & freedom

 

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How far would you go for your friends?

Returning to the mountains of northern Vietnam to investigate the mysterious abduction of his teenaged friends, an Australian filmmaker uncovers a local human trafficking crisis, and sparks an incredible series of events…

See the ‘Sisters For Sale’ trailer in English, Español, FrançaisDeutschHmoobItalianoTiếng Việt, or 普通话.

Sisters For Sale is an award-winning feature film documentary that follows the investigation into the disappearance of two Hmong girls from Sapa, Vietnam who were kidnapped from their homes, sold as brides in China, were made to bear children and are finally found only to be forced to choose between their children and their own freedom.

In 2010, Ben Randall’s 14-year old Hmong friends, May and Pang, were kidnapped from their homes. They were believed to be trafficked to China and sold as brides or prostitutes.

Born into poverty along the Chinese border, with low levels of education, a strongly male-dominated culture and a violent custom of marriage by abduction, these Hmong girls are especially vulnerable.

Ben went on the search for his friends, but where to start? Hundreds of young women are being trafficked from Vietnam every year. Most never return, they simply vanish. With the one-child policy leaving a shortage of women in China, kidnappings in the region are shockingly common.

Ben conducts dozens of interviews with May and Pang’s families and friends, trafficking survivors, and experts in the field. What he discovers is even more horrible and complex than he could have ever expected.

Against all odds, the girls are found in China, both had been sold as brides and were forced to bear children, even though both girls were but children themselves.

The girls then must face a heartbreaking decision of remaining in China, with husbands they hate, in a country they know nothing about and a language they know none of for the sake of their children, or returning to their family in Vietnam whom may in the end reject them for choosing to return.

This film reveals the tragic corruptions, complications, and cruelties behind human trafficking in Southeast Asia.

Ben risked his life to search for May and Pang, filming his investigation to raise awareness of the local human trafficking crisis.

Shockingly, he succeeded in finding both girls in distant parts May and Pang were “lucky” – rather than being sold to brothels, they’d been forced into marriage with local men.

‘Sisters For Sale’ is a powerful, very personal story exploring the complex realities of human trafficking. It’s an inspiring true story of hope, courage and freedom, with the power to make a real difference against the global human trafficking crisis.

‘Sisters For Sale’ will be released as a feature documentary in 2019, followed by a book in 2020.

Ben’s work would not have been possible without the Vietnamese-based NGOs Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation and Alliance Anti-Trafic, whose work he’ll be supporting through ‘Sisters For Sale’.

Screenings & Festivals

7th Nepal Human Rights International Film Festival

‘Sisters for Sale’ took first place in the International Competition for Best Non-Fiction Film at the 7th Nepal Human Rights International Film Festival in Kathmandu, Nepal, which ran from 4th to 7th April 2019. The festival showcased 70 films – shorts and features, documentaries and narrative films – from around the globe.

Screenwave International Film Festival 2019

Ben (the director) presented ‘Sisters for Sale’ personally at the 4th Screenwave International Film Festival in Coffs Harbour, Australia, which ran from 10th to 25th January 2019. The non-competitive festival included over 60 feature films, both fictional and documentary, including films that have won prizes at some of the world’s most prestigious film festivals – Cannes, Sundance, Tribeca, and the Berlinale.

Festival del Cinema dei Diritti Umani di Napoli 2018

‘Sisters for Sale’ won the Arrogoni Prize for courageous storytelling at the X Festival del Cinema dei Diritti Umani di Napoli (10th Human Rights Film Festival of Naples), in Italy, which ran from 27th November to 5th December 2018. ‘Sisters for Sale’ was cited as having depicted human trafficking in a brave and engaging way, and was praised for its intelligent and non-judgemental approach to the subject.

Director's Note

Human trafficking often appears in the media as a simplistic, impersonal and unrelateable issue. ‘Sisters for Sale’ explores the true complexities of the global human trafficking crisis in microcosm, giving the issue a very real and relatable human face.

‘Sisters For Sale’ was based on a long-standing friendship between its director Ben Randall and the film’s subjects, May and Pang. Ben has known May, Pang, and their friends for 8.5 years, and spent 9 months living in their hometown of Sapa in Vietnam, before, during and after filming.

Members of the Hmong community were consulted throughout production and post-production of the documentary.

Thank you for your courage, your tenacity, and your willingness to do something beyond just talk about the tragedy that is human trafficking – I applaud you.

- Donnie Featherston, supporter of The Human, Earth Project -

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