H.O.P.E. Was Here

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A Film by Mark Denega

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A story about the merits and pitfalls of volunteering abroad.


Affluent college students from Boston embark on a one-week goodwill trip to the slums of Lima, Peru in this story about the phenomenon of volunteer vacations, which have fast become both a hallmark and a point of controversy for today’s socially conscious generation. In their attempts to teach English and work with developmentally disabled children, the students must confront the reality of their work and whether or not it’s creating positive change. A fresh take on a classic moral dilemma, H.O.P.E. WAS HERE deals with the intersection of privilege and poverty by asking what it really means to help people.


11/09/14       University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
                       1:00 pm, Global Brigades

11/20/14       Boston University, Boston, MA
                       9:30 am and 11:00 am, College of Communication (Private)

12/05/14       Lochristi, Belgium
                       12:00 pm, Jeugddienst Lochristi Day of Volunteers

02/27/15       Winter Film Awards, New York, NY
                       12:00 pm, Blue Diamond Theater, 777 8th Ave

What people are saying about H.O.P.E. Was Here:

“In addition to some beautifully poetic moments, it thoughtfully questions the nature of privilege.”

-Dorian Tocker, Director, Everyday Saturday


-Catherine Mack, Writer, responsibletravel.com

“Will generate some heated discussion.”

-Lindsey Kotowicz, Community Service Center, Boston University

“The editing and sound design are amazing and seamless. It flows so naturally.”

-Max Belin, Director, Follow Suit Productions

“Subtly questions the value of short-term volunteering abroad and captures the fish-out-of-water feeling that many volunteers experience.”

-Ken Budd, Author, The Voluntourist

“I watched it - twice! Well done...very well observed.”

-Sallie Grayson, People and Places

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