The impunity with which traffickers act with the spectre of authority groups out to stop them is galling. Of course, some of these groups actually engage in their active endorsement, which is stunning and scary in “The Whistleblower." Benedict Cumberpatch brings his stunning acting to this film along with Straithaim and Weisz, forming a trio of talent that conveys the story without dilution. Weisz’s tour of the brothel where she gains the knowledge of who the girls were truly tasked for is a scene of terrible revelation.
The reality of sex trafficking will always trump the fiction but “Trade” does attack the heart of the matter with its focus on the victims’ feelings of isolation, fear and hopelessness. The treatment of the girls as expendable commodities is particularly disheartening for anyone’s belief in the continuation of humanity. Veronica’s succinct curse before her suicide is a scene that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck with the knowledge that her choice to be free meant she had to choose to give up her life.
“The Girl Who Played with Fire”
The second piece of the Millenium Series trilogy, “The Girl Who Played with Fire” has Lisbeth Salander framed by a prostitution ring and the various government and criminal elements that keep this trafficking group safe from the law. With a strong emphasis on physical and emotional violence on women, the horrific objectification of women is put front and center for the audience to digest. Niedermann’s vile interrogation of Lisbeth’s friend Miriam is sure to sour your stomach on humanity as well as keep the subject of sex trafficking on your mind.
“Born into Brothels”
By tackling the additional issue of the children born to the victims of the sex trafficking trade, “Born into Brothels” shows the additional repercussions of sex slavery. The individual turned into commodity replenishes itself through birth, at which the horror of slavery becomes a cycle that spins on past the death of the original victim as she gives birth to her children that become her replacement. Although there isn’t one scene that won’t affect your faith in the world, Briski’s dealings with the red tape and bureaucracy behind ration cards are multiple little moments of frustration that will give you that terrible feeling of impotence mixed with rage at the political mountain that must be climbed to help your fellow man.