The filmmaker from Elche Sergio Jaén learned from the press about the hard history that refugees who arrived in Spain in 2018 Abdelali Dahrabou and Meryem Hamdi have gone through, along with their little daughter, Miral Dahrabou, was interested in their situation, managed to contact them and he captured through a documentary his difficult reality, with dramatic moments in which his life was at stake in the Mediterranean and his present in Elche. The result of all this process is Vengo de las waves, a short film of about 20 minutes that is garnering rave reviews in its first screenings and has been selected to participate in different international festivals, such as the one in Chihuahua, Mexico. or the one based on Human Rights that has Barcelona, Paris and New York as its three headquarters.
The refugee couple that stars in this story had as their first destination in Spain the town of Gandia and, shortly after, settled in Elche, where they have been working until they have lost the legal protection that the Government had granted them after arriving in Spanish territory. as migrants rescued by the Aquarius ship, after risking their lives on a journey that began on the Libyan coast and had Europe as its destination.
After learning the story of Abdelali and Meryem, Jaén managed to contact them thanks to the intermediation of the NGO Helping Refugees from Elche. «I visited them and they related their experiences to me in the first person. That’s when the need arose to record a documentary in which you introduce yourself to human beings, not migrants, ”explains the young filmmaker.
The title of the short film, I come from the waves, reflects that little Miral was born in the middle of her parents’ journey between Africa and Europe. «They are Moroccans and they went to Libya to pursue their dreams. There they were deceived and held for three months in subhuman conditions, “adds Jaén. His documentary has been recorded in different locations in the city of Elche and the district of El Altet and features the music of the Elche composer Carlos Maciá. The film will be screened for the first time in the city of palm trees throughout this newly released 2021, since the covid-19 pandemic has made it impossible for it to be released during the past year.
The Elche City Council has wanted to join this project, to the point that it is the main sponsor of the film. “When the story of Abdelali and Meryem became public and it became known that they had been forgotten by the Government, the City Council reacted very quickly and offered them help through the Department of Social Rights, led by Mariano Valera,” says Joaquina Agulló representative of the NGO Aid to Refugees.
Jaén decided to shoot the documentary in the original language of the migrant couple, because he considers it the best way for them to express their feelings, apart from the fact that the film has subtitles in Spanish. «It is a hard story but in which a message of hope is also launched. Jaén has not looked for the dramatic images of people drowning, it has preferred to deepen its reflections and its courage, “concludes Agulló.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.