has won

the BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT category at Eko International Film Festival

the Third place in the Short Doc category at Construir Cine Festival


has been selected at

Woodengate Film Festival

Sardinia Film Festival



"A Life In Chains" is a video documentary on human trafficking and prostitution in Bangladesh. Directed by Manuel Marano and Federica Vairani, the movie focuses on victims' stories, their struggle to survive and their relationship with Bangladesh society. The film draws attention to the difficult situations these women must deal on a daily basis and who have become trapped in a vicious cycle of prostitution. While they have been condemned throughout their lives and suffer quietly through the contradictions of society, this documentary hopes to reveal and share with the world the humanity that exists in each of these people.





I have been waiting for Faysal for more than two hours at the corner of Mirpur 1 and Mazar Road, one of the most congested and noisy areas in Dhaka. I just can't get used to his habit of being late and waiting for him in this circumstance is making me very nervous. We first met at a friend's place, just outside the capital city of Bangladesh. Despite the fact that he doesn't speak english, we've alway understood each other, even when it's over the phone. Faysal is a journalist working for a local television station as an investigative reporter covering criminal activities. For security reasons, he keeps his identity hidden in his own reports. That first evening, we discussed about our projects. We realized that we were both working on the same story, prostitution and human trafficking in the country. Whereas Federica and I were independently funding our own work as we uncovered and explored these issues, Faysal had the support of the television station he was working for. Unfortunately, while he was able to complete his investigation, he was unable to broadcast it because it involved people of questionable morality who would have hushed everything up. I am now waiting for him in the crowd of Mirpur Bazar to receive the footage he has just smuggled away from his television station in hopes that his work will live on. An undercover police operation to defeat a Human Trafficking network whose aim was to sell Bangladeshi women to Indian red-light districts. A very important documentation that would complete our work at the Kandapara Brothel, where on a hot day of August 2011 everything started. I travel to a town called Tangail which is about 80 kilometers away from Dhaka in order to reach the Kandapara Brothel. I get off a dusty bus nearby a crowded and noisy bazaar where Mr. Lockman, my contact and guide in town, is waiting for me. We catch a rickshaw taxi to reach the city center. The red-light district is right behind a Mosque and 200 meters from the local police station. It's Ramadan and the two streets running along the brothel are almost empty. Once the rickshaw puller has been paid we enter a narrow alley leading into the brothel. I follow Lockman who introduces me to the first girl I want to interview. We enter her hut and alcove, where the bed practically fills up the tiny room. Nodi, this is the name I'll give her, tells me her story which is all too familiar to me. She was promised a good life and honest job but was quickly sold to the brothel where she has been trapped ever since. In 2012, Federica Variani joined the team as Co-Producer and Co-Director and in September of the same year we started filming throughout the Kandapara Brothel and with those related to the issue. The result is a large collection of shocking testimonies of violence, juvenile prostitution and, as a consequence, social stigmatization. Girls born into the brothel are destined to become sex workers, while boys become pimps or drug dealers. Those women who somehow manage to get out of the brothel end up being rejected by society and are unable to rebuild their lives. Subsequently, they are left with no options but to start working as prostitutes again. On July 12th 2014, a group of armed men, backed by the local government, went to the 200 year old Kandapara Brothel with drums of petrol and threatened to set the place on fire. That red-light district was demolished and more than 900 prostitutes were forced to flee. Hundreds have gone to other brothels around the country but many have stayed and continued to work in Tangail where they live under constant threat from local residents.


Manuel Marano is an independent photographer and filmmaker who began photographing documentary stories in 2010. Since then he become committed to documentary visual story telling, taking on long term projects addressing social issues and daily life stories. He is the co-producer and co-director of "A Life In Chains" which is based on his investigative report. Italian born, he is currently based in Hamburg, Germany.



Federica Vairani is the co-producer and co-director of "A Life In Chains". "The desire to highlight, to tell their stories and to show the contraddiction of their reality, is powerful", she said joining the Team. She is a Freelance Sound Engineer working for Audio Post Production Studios providing the complete sound package for Film, TV Spots and Documentaries' Post Production. She is among the founding members of "Au5 Creative Group": from 2005 and 2012 Au5 has realized experimental Videos, Short Movies and Documentaries. She is also a Photographer who has exhibited in Italy and abroad. She lives and works in Brescia, Italy






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