Over the years issues such as open versus closed borders, smuggling, and national identity have been constants. But an underlying connection to each of them is often ignored by most media, that subject is human trafficking. This is a world wide thirty-two billion dollar a year industry. In everything from domestic servitude to warfare to sex slavery slaves are made of children and adults exploited by those who would harvest them.
Let's take a look at six films about the subject fictional drama and three documentaries that look deeply at this subject in both fact and fiction.
Not My Life (2010)
Narrated by Glenn Close, this documentary was filmed on five continents, in over a dozen countries. This film digs deep about the number one victims of trafficking, children. Looking at this issue and speaking with the criminals and victims you get an understanding of this horrendous, illegal industry. From Europe to Africa to the USA, light is shed on the fear and the hope to escape from human slavery.
Narrated by Lucy Liu, this film focuses on the forced sexual exploitation of children in Cambodia. Pulling no punches and filmed over four years, it takes a look at the work of two ground level people who fought to help children exploited in their home country. Smuggled footage shows those victims trying to escape their daily hell, and those trying hard to reenter normal society.
Nefarious: Merchant of Souls (2011)
Documenting the fight to free and counsel those who were forced into the sex slave trade, nineteen countries were covered to gather the films content. The topic of the sex trade is frankly discussed without being exploitative. This film has been shown in several countries with the hope that laws are changed to protect those who are trapped in that painful life. Told from a Christian world view, it takes the point of view of sacrifice to help those enslaved, and hope and restoration through spiritual and psychological guidance through Christian faith and charity.
Starring Kevin Kline, this film takes a look at how kidnapping, human trafficking, and organized crime work together. The plot involves the kidnapping of a young girl from Mexico and the abduction of a grown woman from Poland who has came to America. The Polish woman comes for a better life and is taken by the same gang. This hang also kidnaps others to abuse and sell. This film shows the victim's abuse, smuggling, and in one or two cases their rescue. Harrowing and intense this film gives a serious look at this human rights issue.
Starring Mina Sorvino and Durmot Mulroney, this film examines the lives of those who help to rescue and counsel the victims of the child sex trade in Bangkok, Thailand. Mulroney plays Alex, an investigator who looks to help free and protect those exploited, Sorvino plays his wife Claire, who works in an aftercare rescue shelter. Both have experienced tremendous loss and as they help those who are hurting,they are healed by the work that they do for others.
This the best known of theses type of films, it is also the most like a mainstream Hollywood film. Although many remember Liam Neeson's impassioned speech to the kidnappers, the back bone of the film is human trafficking. A major nightmare for parents is the loss of a child, but this movie blends some wish fulfillment into the mix by allowing Neeson's character to rescue his child, as he's a former special operations agent. Taut and intense this film uses the last act to ensure you know where the producers stand on human trafficking.
Although there are many other documentary and dramatic films on this subject, this is only one action taken. To see what else can be done you can look at UN info here.