New Documentary “Stopping Traffic” Wants You To Stop Modern Slavery
Think about this : “a child sex slave can be purchased online and delivered to a customer more quickly than a pizza.” While you go about your day, an estimated 21 million people would have been trafficked today globally, according to UNICEF.
This is what documentarian, Sadhvi Siddhali Shree hopes to bring to light with her new film, “Stopping Traffic : The Movement to End Sex Trafficking.” The film exposes the harsher truths behind this international crisis by giving victims a platform to share their stories, in the hope for change.
“Siddhali really understood the global coverage of this issue that affects all of us," Executive Producer, Jeannie Mai told NBC. "That alone made me want to partner up with her to lend whatever context, whatever expertise I had as far as being able to bring the right community together to get this film and awareness out there.”
“Stopping Traffic” investigates the industry and its effects on its victims, particularly minors. Shree, who also directs the film, draws connections between child sex abuse, child-focused cyber porn, prostitution, and the lucrative global market of sex trafficking.
Journeying across the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, Iraq, and the U.S., Shree’s first feature film gives audiences the chance to experience first-hand the tasks of activists, survivors, former traffickers, and organizations working to end this form of modern-day slavery. From Karla Jacinto, a sex trafficking survivor who was exploited from the age of five, to Mario Hildalgo Garfias, a reformed sex-trafficker turned activist, the diverse stories behind the film expose trafficking for what is really is : a crime across all cultures.
As a social justice project, the documentary lists nine specific ways for the public to make a difference.These intervention strategies include writing to public officials, reporting suspected incidences, and creating a dialogue among friends about the issue.
“Stopping Traffic” urges its viewers to try and grapple with the horrifying truth that trafficking happens everywhere, everyday. In the hopes of creating a larger conversation, the documentary aims to serve as a vehicle to “raise awareness, expand the movement, and present practical solutions to eradicate it.”
“Trafficked victims can be in the shape of a nail salon employee, a nanny, a gardener, or maybe somebody who you don’t see — someone who works at a company we all support,” Mai told NBC. “If you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem.”
“Stopping Traffic” is available for viewing in select theaters from Sept. 29 to Oct. 5.