Logline: A poetic close up on the struggles of human rights activists Maryam Al-Khawaja and Nnimmo Bassey, and what keeps them going against all odds.
Synopsis: Hope is a word is the story of Maryam al-Khawaja and Nnimmo Bassey, human rights defenders fighting for different causes with a common mindset: it’s the right thing to do. In exile from Bahrain and with her father sentenced to life in prison, Maryam lives with survivor’s guilt. Poetry is her safe place, where she can let anger and hopelessness out. Fighting oil corporations poisoning the Niger Delta and its people, Nnimmo has seen friends executed by the military, and has barely seen his children grow up, but whole communities chant his protest poems.
While protests and oil spills make the headlines, the day to day of activism is filled with heart wrenching inertia. Nothing seems to move, for years. Talking to the UN and governments around the world, Maryam feels like a broken record. Nnimmo chants with the crowd, but how long can he keep challenging corrupt politicians and knocking on closed doors? What does it mean to witness setback after setback, when you have sacrificed so much?
Participant: Maria Galliani Dyrvik