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September 25th, 2003
Dying to Leave
Filmmaker's Notes

By Aaron Gwin Woolf

Aaron Gein Woolf

Flying back recently from Europe I saw a young woman on the plane with me whose expression gave me pause. She had been near me when we boarded the plane and I had sensed something troubling about her; a certain barely concealed fear. What was going on? Her clothes seemed uncomfortable. Had she run to catch the plane – or was she just out of sorts? Was she afraid to fly? She seemed to be alone but kept darting her head to look behind her. She handed an Eastern European passport to the gate agent.

Once you begin to look into human trafficking, you think about it often. You realize that its victims are among us everywhere – not just on remote fields or in sweatshops, but in places where we live – on planes; in restaurants. Yet that knowledge doesn’t tell you what to do when you think you might be seeing it. I don’t know what documentaries can do to confront problems as deeply rooted as trafficking – but I do know my experience making this film has marked me.

Four hours into the flight I walked past her again and she had the same expression. Perhaps it was nothing, but I felt like I should do something even though I was clearly acting on the basis of a profile. With utter trepidation, I waited until she got up then handed her a business card on which I had written: “If you are in trouble call this number.” I scribbled the number of a NGO that works with victims of trafficking. She took the card without looking at me and put it in her pocket.

  • Diane Reno

    Hello: I am writing about a woman who is a citizen of the UK who is being held in Africa against her will. Mr.Westwood her father is my friend. We are trying to find someone who can help us or mostly him to find Jennifar his daughter who is age 23. After numberous e-mails to her and I over a year of no contact from Jennifar. I decided to try and get a reply from her. After one month she wrote to me and said she is being held as a slave. Mr. Westwood pleaded with her not to go to Africa with this guy. But she did and now she is in danger and suffering abuse and being treated like and animal. I have yet to know her exact location due to her fear of being abused more. She is commuincating with me and is ashamed to tell her father. I have kept him in the loop. He is lives in London. We NEED HELP! How do we bring Jennifar home. She said this guy who lied to her took her pasport and all her documentation. She mentiones a priest named Father Lucky that she trusts. Today she wrote and asked for help.
    Is there someone at the BBC that can help investigate this and guide Mr. Westwood to bring Jennifar home safely. She is a slave there!!!! This is such a travisty against women and human rights. She was duped. If you can help I believe you can uncover the Human Trafficing ring that is going on in the UK> she also said this guy who took her ‘as the local police there said’ this guy is untouchable. So, I believe this could be a real big deal to pin down that criminal and how he comes to the UK and convinces woman to leave with him under false pretnese.
    PLESE WRITE TO ME AND CAN YOU HELP. What is the agencies Mr. Westwood can go to for help? I have the transmisson string and copied it and sent it to her father Owen. So maybe someone can crack the code from the conputer she is using.
    Thank you, I beg for someone to help!!!!!!!!! I can’t sleep until this young 23 year old woman is rescued.
    Diane Reno
    Modesto, CA USA

  • mark

    If The United States Fredoom of Speech Publish this comment to
    Hi! last 15 years east european and russian ladies coming to Turkey for prostitution ,Even kids know that in whole Europe and This women they don’t know whats happening?they all know what is going to happen, come on “trafficking” is wrong word to use it.They are Voluntarily coming(not victim) to Turkey to work!!!Even Turkish law Enforcement Deport them many times but they are keep coming back.Because Their country is poor and they are not making money(this is the fact) if America or Europa concerned that much about them offer them Job other opportunities not making movie About Turkey

  • tips and tricks

    this is the best thing i’ve read in a long while

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