Roberto Lozano and Marta Arranz, couple, director and producer of the documentary All the Souls which premieres nationwide today at the Malaga Film Festival, they planned to go on vacation in 2015 after five years without a break. But the catastrophe happened in Nepal, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that devastated the capital and plunged the population into utter chaos, so that, without hesitation, plans were canceled.
A call from Valladolid to Salamanca was enough to confirm that they were going to gather a team to leave for Kathmandu as soon as possible. On the other end of the phone was the reporter Roberto Fraile, a great friend of Roberto Lozano for more than 20 years, who joined the project with his frequent “when do I pack my bags?”. And so they started on the road.
“If he didn’t come then surely we wouldn’t have gone, because He was our trusted person to do this kind of thing. Our madness followed us“explains Marta Arranz.” You always called him and he was willing to go with you wherever he went, “adds Roberto Lozano. And so it happened with All the Souls, the last work of the journalist Roberto Fraile assassinated in Burkina Faso together with the reporter David Beriain and the Irish conservationist Rory Young.
Although the initial intention was to tell the consequences of the earthquake, there the team was direct witness to the real problem of human trafficking that Nepalese society suffers. “In a service area on one of the trips we made around the country, we saw two men that they took two girls in a car“Recalls the director.” When they saw Roberto Fraile’s camera they realized that we were there, they got into the car and ran away. They were afraid that we could record them. From that moment on we began to investigate. ”
They discovered the ease with which children and their families are deceived under the guise of grant them a good education, a job, a future … and they end up crossing the border into India caught in a trafficking ring. Kidnapped girls are priced, and this oscillates between $ 150 and $ 25,000.
Along the three shootings that took place in 2015, 2018 and 2019, with Roberto Fraile and Ciro Selma in charge of the photography direction, All the Souls reveals all the dimensions of the scourge of trafficking that encompasses Nepal and India, where each year they are sold between 6,000 and 12,000 women and children. On a spiritual discourse, almost dreamlike, on the holes of society, destiny and faith itself, the stories of the women are intertwined. rescued victims of slavery and sexual exploitation, who in many cases have not reached adolescence, together with the important work of a local NGO, Three Angels, who struggles to stitch up the wound despite being threatened with death.
The Bagmati River, the cremation piles, the chaotic border with India… are some images that illustrate all the dimensions of Nepalese society and that converge in All the Souls. “It tells us about the different angles that human beings have, we are capable of the best or the worst,” adds Lozano.
This work competes in the section Affirming Women’s Rights of the Malaga Festival, its premiere in Spain after presenting for the first time at the Warsaw International Film Festival last october. “It is a pride and an honor that we have been selected in one of the most important festivals of Spanish cinema, we could not have a better premiere. And may it serve as a tribute to the legacy of Roberto Fraile“, thanks the director Roberto Lozano.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.