Violeta Ayala and Dan Fallshaw thought they were making a feel-good documentary about family reunions in Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony in North Africa much disputed by its neighbors, notably Morocco. But the Australian-based filmmakers stumbled on something altogether more politically explosive and found themselves at the center of a huge international controversy. In 2007, while monitoring the Sahwari people who have been stranded in refugee camps, some for decades, they were intrigued by the oddly servile attitude of Fetim Sellami, a 30-year-old black woman, towards the much older Deido, a white Arab who claimed to be Fetim’s grandmother. To their shock, they uncover a complex network of relationships amounting to nothing less than modern-day slavery.
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