"From Heartbreak To Heaven"
Prostitution itself in Brazil is legal, as there are no laws forbidding adult prostitution, but it is illegal to operate a brothel or to employ prostitutes in any other way. The age of consent in Brazil is 14 years of age. But field workers report:
- Under aged girls lie about their age in order to be paid for sexual favors.
- Average age of first time prostitutes are 9 years of age.
- Customers arrange to have 'favela' kids brought up to their hotel rooms for sexual services.
- Children sell themselves for a piece of candy because they are so hungry.
There is hope where Brazilian officials are working to keep legal brothels safe, although, most of them are full of corruption and sexual exploitation. Having this in mind and an eye on the 2016 Olympic Games that will be hosted by Brazil, the federal deputy Jean Wyllys presented, in 2013, the Gabriela Leite project of law.
The purpose of this documentary is to bring awareness about an unstoppable force of Love fighting against the horrors of children and their mothers who are immersed in the world of prostitution, sex trafficking, and drug wars.
This documentary will reveal incredible stories of people working in a notoriously dangerous favela (slum) bringing hope to the children of crack addicts and drug dealers. They bring a moral compass to a community steeped in prostitution, drug dealing and violence which has been embedded in Fortaleza, Brazil for over 200 years.
The purpose of this documentary is to inspire you to act without conditions and put things into a world's perspective of those who really have nothing by American standards. We often get caught up of feeling of not being worthy, not having enough (time or money), not reaching our goals whether it be in career or financially. This feeling(s) often can spin us off in the wrong direction of our true purpose which is to care and love one another, especially those who are closest to you.
Stop & Watch this short introduction of "From Heartbreak To Heaven"
(Please also "LIKE" it, if indeed you do!)
The goals of the documentary are:
- Draw more resources to the Oitao Preto community in Fortaleza, Brazil.
- Bring awareness to the sexual exploitation of children in Brazil. And answer the 'Why?' Questions.
- Lay Foundations for Self-Sustaining Small Businesses within the Community.
- Raise Funds for the support team there.
- Build A Safe House for the Oitao Preto Community.
- Financially Support Victoria & Tom who struggling to support their 16 adopted children, Alex and Erika, and the Iris Ministries, and others who are there in the trenches.
At Passion Voice, we have made it our mission to use documentary filmmaking to give a visual voice to those who cannot speak for themselves. In early 2013, we began raising funds to create From Heartbreak to Heaven, a full-length feature film aimed at raising awareness of the harsh realities of prostitution and sex trafficking of children and their mothers in Fortaleza. The film follows the lives of two cousins, ages 4 and 6, and shines a light on the hope that thrives when dedicated people risk their own lives on the front lines to rescue vulnerable children.
Our progress to date is encouraging. So far we have raised and personally invested approximately $78,000 that has enabled us to capture 40 hours of footage and produce a five-minute trailer for From Heartbreak to Heaven. Now, filming is complete, and we have secured a noted film editor to complete the crucial last stage of post-production. But we cannot achieve this last stage without your help.
"This documentary is unfolding into something bigger and stronger than I ever imagined..."
David Peters, Director of "From Heartbreak To Heaven" -
A Note from David...
This documentary is not a project but a process...
I traveled to Fortaleza in February of 2014, believing this was to be a film about child prostitution. It is actually more than that.
Originally, I intended this film to only be about Lauren Lierly, a brave Californian girl whose mission was to rescue young girls from prostitution in Brazil. But, during my first production filming in Fortaleza, I realized Lauren had led me into a world where God was really intending me to go-- to actually tell His story about His love.
Stories immediately began to appear to illustrate this theme:
• A notable drug dealer and gang leader has denounced his lifestyle and has befriended the missionaries.
• A local married couple who themselves were transformed by love are in the process of adopting 16 children of dealers and prostitutes.
• Three Oitao Preto residents who have been miraculously transformed from prostitution, drugs and crime into outstanding missionaries who will not leave the favela.
• Children that are overcoming incredible odds, receiving a new identity through love and acceptance.
• Selfless devotion, often at great risk, of the young missionaries as they unconditionally love the favela community rejected and condemned by society.
Through these stories and many others we will build an intimate understanding of survival in the favelas of Brazil.
My First Journey into this World:
I had this idea to give a mix of favella residents small cameras to document their lives for two days. Everyone said it wouldn’t work, even I, myself, doubted the success of this....“The cameras would be sold for drugs, they would be lost, they would disappear....” But, eight cameras were given out, seven came back! Four of the cameras were given to children in the community between the ages of 6 to 11. What a revelation to see where they find beauty!
Among the images of poverty and darkness there was the unmistakable light of love and hope. I received remarkable images from people who wanted to be trusted!
Frankly, we were astonished that the cameras weren’t sold or stolen. We were also amazed at the personal stories they were willing to share. Their stories will weave a dynamic message to be told in “From Heartbreak To Heaven”..
Leaving Fortaleza, Brazil:
After experiencing these lives, I left with the desire to tell these stories to everyone, and move people to care for these human beings who have love but need a chance to survive and thrive.
When I left, I placed cameras with these 4 favella residents listed above so the storytelling can continue, while we prepare to return with the full crew in February. The agreement with them is that I will pay for their necessities if they will videotape themselves everyday and answer a group of questions about their life experience. I told them to talk as if the world was listening to them and loving them.
Through their stories we will build an intimate understanding of survival in the favela and then follow Lauren’s personal journey as she and the other team members reach out to offer them faith and hope.
Child prostitution and drug use among children is a terrible epidemic here but the love these missionaries and others bring is life changing.
The success of Heartbreak To Heaven can also be life changing as it aims to bring awareness, and to develop economic and aftercare solutions.
These stories speak for themselves. Lets unite and a make a difference in their lives. I am extremely passionate about this mission and I am willing to sacrifice deeply to make a difference in this place.
I need you to join me.
Founder of Passion Voice