Knowledge is the first step to fighting the war on human trafficking. These ten films and documentaries shine a spotlight on this global epidemic. Their tragic depictions will motivate you to take a stand in the modern day abolitionist movement.
The Dark Side of Chocolate
Have you ever thought that the chocolate you buy and enjoy may have originated from child slavery in Africa? In 2001, consumers around the world were outraged to discover the existence of child labor and trafficking on cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast, a country responsible for producing nearly half of the world’s cocoa. In response to public outcry, leading chocolate manufactures, among them Nestle and Hershey’s, signed a cocoa protocol to eradicate its practice by 2008. This behind the scenes documentary, however, shows how children as young as seven are still being smuggled in to work as slaves on cocoa plantations. The film can be viewed online at: www.documentarystorm.com/money-industries/the-dark-side-of-chocolate
Winner of the 2009 Student Academy Award and 2010 Academy Award Nominee for Live Action Short, Kavi is the story of a boy in India who wants to play cricket and go to school, but instead is forced to work in a brick kiln as a modern-day slave. Unsatisfied with his fate, Kavi must either accept what he’s always been told or fight for a different life, even if he’s unsure of the ultimate outcome. A short film version can be viewed online at Kavithemovie.com.
Not For Sale…the Documentary and Not For Sale II: Join the Fight
This film is based on the book of the same name and covers the modern-day abolitionist movement. The film both exposes the terrors of human trafficking and inspires hope through the stories and work of contemporary activists. To see a clip and buy the DVD, go to notforsalefilm.com.
Call + Responed
Described as an activist film that is not merely watched alone but shown to large audiences, this documentary features first hand accounts from prominent political and cultural figures and performances by Grammy-winning artists whose music is used as a rallying cry for the modern day abolitionist movement. Their official website is Callandresponse.com.
A Dance for Bethany
This award winning fictional movie was an Official Selection at the International Christian Film Festival. The film is about a 12-year-old girl who runs away from home to fulfill her dream of becoming a dancer only to be lured into the world of sex trafficking. After enduring six years of exploitation, her prayers are answered when she has a chance meeting with a local youth pastor who invites her to his church. Through the help of others, Bethany gains the courage to change her life and pursue her long lost dream. Visit the official website at Adanceforbethany.com
While traveling to the Phillipines in 2001, filmmaker Libby Spears saw first hand the horrific practice of trafficking. Believing, at first, that sex trafficking was primarily an “international” occurrence she was astonished to find, through her investigation, the involvement of the United States and the degree to which they were influencing the global demand and growth of this industry. Ashley Judd is featured in a public service announcement. To see excerpts and inquire about film screenings, go to Playgroundproject.com
The Price of Sugar
In the Dominican Republic thousands of Haitians toil under armed-guards on plantations to harvest sugar cane, mostly which ends up in U.S. kitchens. Narrated by Paul Newman, this documentary follows a Spanish priest who organizes the local people to fight for their basic human rights. This thought provoking film questions where the products we consume everyday originate. Go to thepriceofsugar.com.
Born Into Brothels: Calcutta’s Red Light Kids
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2004, this documentary is less about prostitution and more about how eight children, with the help of a motivated film maker, strive to make a better life for themselves through art in an effort to escape the conditions they were born into. Go to Freedocumentaries.org
An Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature, this film follows three children from a refugee camp in war-torn Uganda to a national music competition. The children share the horrors of civil war and how they were abducted by rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army and forced to become child soldiers and slaves. Visit Wardancethemovie.com
When a 13-year-old girl is kidnapped by traffickers in Mexico City, her 17-year-old brother sets off on a desperate mission to find her before she is sold on an internet auction. Based on a magazine cover story from the New York Times in 2004, this fictional movie stars Kevin Kline. See the trailer at Tradethemovie.com