SANDS OF SILENCE: Waves Of Courage
Official Trailer


Sands of Silence: Waves of Courage is a personal documentary about a filmmaker who, inspired by the transformation of the sex-trafficking survivors whose lives she is documenting, finds the courage to break the silence about sexual abuse in her own life.

A 15-year quest to expose the underworld of sexual exploitation and trafficking from Asia to the Americas leads world-reporter Chelo Alvarez-Stehle back to the windswept beach where her childhood ended and family secrets began. As Chelo documents the transformation of sex trafficking survivors, she meets Virginia Isaias, a Mexican woman living in California who had been kidnapped and forced into prostitution by a sex-trafficking ring in Chiapas.

Tapping into deep-rooted childhood memories, the filmmaker immerses us in an intimate, poetic exploration of sexual violence. A visual dialogue juxtaposes her personal experiences with those of Virginia Isaias, a Mexican-American woman embarked on a life-and-death quest to shatter the cycle of sexual exploitation engulfing her life. The film sheds light on the tightly woven chains of abuse and silence that entrap survivors in a recurring pattern of violence.

When Virginia breaks free from her captors, we are captivated by her uplifting evolution, as she becomes an inspiring crusader against modern-day slavery.

Inspired by Virginia’s courage, Chelo is moved to explore her unyielding desire for seeking out these types of stories in what becomes a parallel journey of introspection that shatters the silence of abuse her own family and in her own life.