When actor Robert Rusler [LA LA LAND] introduced our film and Q&A at the Malibu International Film Festival, where we received the Best Documentary Award and the Audience Choice Award, he had tears in his eyes, revealing to the public that he himself had been a victim of sexual abuse—something that had marked his life to this day.

Malibu Intl Film Festival
Actor Robert Rusler present Chelo at the Malibu Intl. Film Festival

At the San Diego Latino Film Festival, a Mexican American man felt compelled to tell his story of abuse in public for the first time. “I was raped by my nanny as a four-year-old. When my aunt started abusing me, I was six. Then it was me who at that young age started to look for her. I had my sexuality arisen and I didn’t know any better. When I was nearing puberty I tried to talk about it to older boys around me, but the only answer I got was, ‘Oh man, how lucky you are.’”

At the Valencia Human Rights Film Festival in Spain, a Colombian refugee said, “I never had the courage to share that I am the daughter of a prostitute. But your film gave me the strength. I want to tell the world that I am proud of my mother because she always protected me and never let me see the work she was doing. Most in my family and village told me I could never do anything with my life being the daughter of a prostitute. But I educated myself, and when I started asking too many questions about my mother’s disappearance at the hands of the paramilitary, I became their target, too.”

Chelo hugs woman who broke silence Valencia HRFF
Chelo hugs a woman who broke her silence HumansFest at Valencia International Human Rights Film Festival

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *