The disturbing and eye opening film Trafficked opens this weekend in parts of the America. Dipping into stories by real people caught up in the world of kidnapping for prostitution, this film, although a fictional account, lays it all out for those to see. The film is inspired by real characters from the award winning book ‘Sex Trafficking’ by Harvard Professor Siddharth Kara.
“According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), forced labor alone (one component of human trafficking) generates an estimated $150 billion in profits per annum as of 2014. In 2012, the I.L.O. estimated that 21 million victims are trapped in modern-day slavery. Of these, 14.2 million (68%) were exploited for labor, 4.5 million (22%) were sexually exploited, and 2.2 million (10%) were exploited in state-imposed forced labor. –Wikipedia – (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_trafficking)
The film follows three women from their home country to a bordello in Texas. On the day Sara (Kelly Washington) has turned 18 in a California foster home, she becomes emancipated and can no longer live within the system. Diane (Ashley Judd), her social worker within the system offers her a chance to live in Texas and work until she can get on her feet. With no blood realities available to take her she accepts offer.
Nigeria, Mali (Jessica Obilom) leaves her home to join a caravan of women who will be sold into slavery as prostitutes so she can make money to send home for her new born baby and destitute family. Over a couple of years she will have been used in several countries prior to arriving at the Texas brothel. She has sacrificed her freedom for a chance to save her loved ones.
In New Delhi, India Amba (Alpa Banker) has been living a good life of a teen in her native country. From a well-to-do family she goes out a lot with her friends to nightclubs. One night at a club with her sister an intrusive young guy causes an argument with her causing bad blood. On the way home from the bar the guy stops them and abducts Amba. She gets sold to a trafficker and ends up in the Texas bordello with Sara and Mali.
The film goes on from there with the girls living on the Texas ranch being forced to have sex with clients. Director Will Wallace does a good job of depicting the life of the girls and how they cope with being the occasional play toys for rich men. Captive and overcome by fear for their lives, the story gives the writer’s impressions of the slavery imposed upon the girls.
The actresses playing the kidnapped girls are very good in their roles and make the film work with a measure of realism. While Kelly Washington, Jessica Obilom, and Alpa Banker haven’t had a lot of work in film, all three can put this fine effort into their resume for future roles. It’s not an easy task to put yourself into the shoes of Sara, Mali and Amba, but even without a lot of experience on the big screen, I applaud them for depicting difficult characters under severe circumstances
Trafficked has been rated R by the MPAA for disturbing violent content including sexual assaults, language, and some drug use. The film has a tough message to deliver considering the massive number of women sold into slavery, but just showing the danger and effects on what they face should open dialogue for women’s groups in all countries.
FINAL ANALYSIS: Truly a much needed movie for awareness of this diabolical business still thriving in all countries today.
Additional Film Information:
Cast: Kelly Washington, Jessica Obilom, Alpa Banker, Ashley Judd, Anne Archer, Elisabeth Rohm, Sean Patrick Flanery, Madison Wolfe, and Patrick Duffy
Directed by: Will Wallace
Genre: Drama, Thriller
MPAA Rating: R for disturbing violent content including sexual assaults, language, and some drug use
Running Time: 1 hr.44 min.
Release Date: October 13, 2017
Distributed by: Epic Pictures
The comments within this review are the critic’s expressed opinions.
Opening in the following States:
Arizona, California, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York City, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and wider at a later date. Check local listings for a theater near you.