“The cinematography is stunning, the characters are compelling, the interviews are intimate and the story is as gripping as a good spy thriller.”  ABOUT.COM

“It’s compelling to watch. You really have to see it to believe it. It’s like a spy story.” ABC MOVIE TIME

“Pacy, exciting and hugely engrossing. Guaranteed to spark intense debate about the relationship between documakers and their subjects wherever it’s shown.”  VARIETY

“Stolen perhaps raises more questions than it answers, but does so in the tradition of the best sort of political art. As always, it remains to the viewer to decide exactly where the truth lies.” STRANGER THAN FICTION

“The storytelling process, as it unfolds on camera, is at once fascinating and alarming” POP MATTERS

“Riveting stuff. The film moves into political thriller territory when the filmmakers are made suddenly aware that the conversations they have taped put the lives of their subjects in peril, and they themselves have become prey to sinister political and cultural forces.”  THE TORONTO STAR

“It is noteworthy that the film regardless of the attempts either from Morocco or Polisario to serve its political agenda, has a high level of professionalism” AL ARABIYA

“Stolen is a dramatic and complex exploration of modern slavery, not to mention a fascinating study of the perils of documentary filmmaking.” THE GLOBE AND MAIL

“A controversial exploration into the world of the Saharawi refugees” INDIWIRE

“Suspenseful, scary, and displaying personal bravery by Ayala and Fallshaw, this exceptional film is a searing testimony to man’s continued inhumanity to man.” SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

“The thing about making documentaries is that you never know what you’re going to get. In few cases is that more remarkable than in this one. There’s no denying that it’s fascinating, or that what it reveals is tremendously important.” EYE FOR FILM UK

“The existence of modern slavery has been detailed in books like Kevin Bales’s Disposable People, but rarely has it been covered on film as intimately as in Stolen.” TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

“A controversial film, that surprises you at first, shocks you in the middle and angers you by the end”ROLLING STONE BRASIL

“The film elicits a strong emotional response from viewers and deals with serious racial, social and economic divisions in Africa and the controversy it has generated will likely bring attention not only to the film, but also to the issues it film highlights.” ALL AFRICA US



‘It is my opinion that the film Stolen portrays a situation of enslavement within the refugee camps of the Western Sahara.’ Dr. Kevin Bales – President FREE THE SLAVES Download file

‘Asim and I are of the opinion that the practices described in the interviews are consistent with slavery as it is practised in neighbouring Mauritania and that the interviewees are credible… It is also a common practice for states to put pressure on victims to retract their statements.’ Romana Cacchioli – Africa Programme Co-ordinator ANTI-SLAVERY INTERNATIONAL Letter of support

‘In sum, credible sources testified to HRW about vestiges of slavery that continue to affect the lives of a portion of the black minority in the Tindouf camps’ Eric Goldstein – Research Director in the Middle East and North Africa division HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

‘Even activists who have been fighting against forced encampment (aka, human warehousing) as the all-too-often default fate of refugees for decades on end will be shocked. I thought I had seen it all. I hadn’t.’ Merrill Smith – Director of International Planning and Analysis for the USCRI



‘Totally fascinating. A great piece of work’ KEVIN MACDONALD, Touching the Void, The Last King of Scotland (Academy Award Winner 2000)

‘Stolen is much more than a film about modern slavery: it is a description of the crime that seems to follow humanity until it’s end, the crime of ignorance. Congratulations to your work Ayala! It’s useless to say, I could relate to most everything in it, to the characters in the desert as well as to you as filmmakers. I feel like i’ve been in and out of North Africa with you two people for some years. Your film is stronger than the stupid attempts to discredit it.’ HUBERT SAUPER, Darwin’s Nightmare (Academy Award Nominee 2006)

‘Exciting film. In the Sahara, there is neither justice nor poetry’ ANDERS ØSTERGAARD, Burma VJ (Academy Award Nominee 2010)

‘Having seen so much of the footage, I can tell you that the filmmakers did not lie to or manipulate their subjects. They went to do one story but upon the realization of the issue of slavery, the film changed. The Polisario do not want this story out because it makes them look bad. And I believe they are using all means to discredit the filmmakers.’ DEBORAH DICKSON (Three time Academy Award Nominee)

‘Violeta and Dan went to make a film about refugees, but soon realised there was a bigger story right under their noses. An important, hidden story that needed to be told to the world. The ordeal they went through to bring their raw material home in the teeth of opposition was extraordinary, and no less arduous has been the task of piecing it all together into a powerful and moving document. They have my complete admiration.’  BOB CONOLLY (Academy Award Nominee)

‘Dan and Violeta told us the truth as they saw it and people risked their positions, trusted them to tell that truth hoping it might help. They were following a time-honoured tradition of being truly independent filmmakers. When the same slavery accusations proved true of the opposing side – the Polisario’s enemies, the Moroccans, Violeta and Dan also exposed that.

They discovered early in their careers what it took me decades to see: the Left is just as capable of ‘devouring its own babies’ as the Right. Rather than facing the music and moving to right an ancient feudal custom, the Polisario have battened down the hatches and brought on board well intentioned but naïve PC supporters who out of a blind loyalty have done their best to undercut the veracity of Stolen and thus continue the practice of slavery in the refugee camps. This is a classic case of shoot the messengers.’ DAVID BRADBURY (Two time Academy Award Nominee)


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