#SHORTVIEW: “Yulya”, by André Marques


Without any dialogues, the story of Yulya will develop itself as an exploratory and emotional journey, the life of a fragile and precious young woman caught in the cruelties of human trafficking.


> What made you want to make a story about sex traffic?

Human trafficking moves about 150 billion dollars each year, according to the ILO Report from 2014. A huge percentage of this belongs specifically to sex traffic, including minors. This data overwhelmed me, especially considering the ignorance and lack of care that most people display towards these numbers.

Unfortunately, this is not something that the media shows any interest for, and thus, people tend to forget about it quite fast, even though everyone could help the fight against these practices if they knew a little bit more about it. With this film, I wanted to re-ignite the discussion, and, in a way, I also wanted to give a voice to those who don’t have it – “they” being those affected by sex traffic, like Yulya.

> Most of the movie is spent following Yulya around, without any dialogue or major events. Why did you want to use this approach?

My objective was to give the characters and scenes the possibility to speak for themselves, without influencing the viewers through any narrative or conceptual gimmicks. I wanted to present the story in a straightforward way, and I felt that cutting dialogue altogether would help me do that.

It’s important to have in mind that Yulya is running away, so no one is to be trusted – hence, every time that she meets someone in her path, she does not feel wishful to talk to them, be it in the case of the young gypsy boy, or the black prostitute. Even when there is a kind of complicity between her and this woman, and she may be able to help her, she still acts careful, because she knows that she could get in trouble again.

> The end destination and whereabouts of Yulya are kept undetermined. Does she have any chance of a better future?

These stories tend to end very badly, since the circles in which they happen are pretty cruel themselves, so for me, there was no point in giving it a happy ending. The state of Yulya is unknown at the end of the movie – but I can say that it’s probably going to be a better future than the present that she had been living up to that point.

André declined on making any commentaries about future plans, declaring only that, whatever the future may bring, he’d expect it to be “a better future, definitely”.