EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with the Swedish writer-director Niclas Gillis on his recent film "Hold Me Down." The Film depicts a day in the life of a 19-year-old single mother who works as a stripper at an illegal nightclub to support her child in the South Bronx. It is filmed in the locations where the events depicted actually occurred; in the Mott Haven Housing Projects and in an actual brothel, and features a cast of non-actors / women survivors of sexual exploitation and domestic violence.

HAPPY Valentine's Day to all our readers. This is probably the only day where bad weather means nothing - we're happy, and we're planning on getting lots of loving. Every February 14, across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. Here are some fun facts about valentine's day that you can tell your other significant ones and keep the day jolly.

Broken PromiseStory by: Ejine Okoroafor (Part 6 of 6)

A few months later, we received the acknowledgement of our application from the immigration office. Towanda started visiting me frequently and making demands. She wanted a new phone, her car broke down and needed fixing, or she simply needed cash. She expected me to sort out her financial problems. That wasn’t part of our original plans but she threatened to write to the immigration or withdraw our application if I didn’t meet her needs. She grew more demanding with time. I struggled to cope with her demands, paying my bills and sending money home to Maryam and my folk.

Broken PromiseStory by: Ejine Okoroafor (Part 5 of 6)

Maryam was uncharacteristically quiet when I told her before breaking into a sob, charging, ‘You will leave me, you will forget me.’

I couldn’t believe her. I loved her. I would never leave or hurt her. I assured her that if I managed to travel with the Chief that I would immediately send for her once I became settled. She was my soul mate. We were meant to be together and will be together. She was soon reassured and cheered up again.

Broken PromiseStory by: Ejine Okoroafor (Part 3 of 6)

I was absolutely convinced that the shock of this squalid and sordid environ would have proved to be too rough on my gentle Maryam. I wouldn’t have endured exposing her to the constant sight of drunken men clutching alcoholic beverages half-disguised in brown paper bags while staggering precariously on the streets. Neither would I have liked her accosted by those darting glazed-eyed and shifty youths on the streets, begging for quarters that will surely go towards buying another joint to feed their addiction.

Broken PromiseStory by: Ejine Okoroafor (Part 2 of 6)

I had used to dream of Maryam sitting in the car beside me on our way home from the airport, picturing the wonderment and joy in her voice. How thrilled she could have been and bursting into her peculiar hearty laughter at any and everything. She’d have detailed her flight to me in that unaffected manner of hers. It would have been her first time on air, travelling on a plane. She had a fear for heights and regularly marveled at the mystery and ability of planes flying up in the sky. It scared her somewhat, the idea of flying.