Traffick Review- May 2018

Traffick Review- May 2018

Written By: Kari Carr

An admirable goal–to raise awareness about human trafficking. Unfortunately, the film Traffik falls short in that it perpetuates myths about human trafficking. So one can hope that it will at least be entertaining.

 

There are two main facts that the movie does state: human trafficking is modern slavery and that after drug dealing, human trafficking is tied with the illegal arms trade as the second largest criminal industry in the world.

 

The rest is a horrific chase, cram packed with plenty of murder–you know, just to keep you on your toes. Not a great way to raise awareness about a crime for which myths and stereotypes abound. Let’s talk a little about the film itself.

 

During much of the first half of the film, the main character Brea is sexualized and objectified with close-up shots of her body and see-through tops. Why put something in your film that perpetuates the demand for sex trafficking? (referring to the objectification of women). While all this is happening, John and Brea head out for a romantic weekend. When the two stop for gas, there is an altercation between John and some bikers outside, which is cut short by the sheriff who is conveniently on scene.

 

When Brea is inside the gas station restroom she meets an odd girl who seems scared.

 

After they arrive at the cabin, Brea discovers a cellphone in her purse that the girl in the bathroom placed in Brea’s bag. After unlocking the phone and discovering  hundreds of images of girls–beaten and bruised–posing in scantily clad clothes, they determine they have discovered a human trafficking ring.

 

The girl from the gas station bathroom rings the doorbell to ask for the phone back (the phone is being tracked by the bikers). Then quickly the death count begins to add up while John and Brea run for their lives. During one scene, the couple make it to a house and are asking for help. Brea decides to upload the photos from the phone to her old employer (who fired her at the beginning of the film) to ask him for help. Unfortunately, she forgot that the bikers are tracking the phone, and one bursts into the house with a weapon. John never gets the chance to propose to Brea, who finds the ring after he dies from a gunshot wound.

 

After several 911 calls, the sheriff (from the gas station) and a deputy arrive on scene. However, the sheriff kills the deputy and Brea is taken off and drugged by the bikers.

 

Brea awakens to find herself and a dozen other girls chained up underground in an abandoned mine. Keep in mind, most human trafficking victims are hidden in plain sight, not kept in the literal underground. In the US, one is much more likely to find a sex trafficking victim in a hotel or on the street. Victims drugged into unconsciousness and imprisoned in a mineshaft are not making the traffickers money.

 

Brea manages to escape, and makes it back to the gas station from the beginning of the movie. She asks the attendant to call 911.  After sending the attendant to the back, the sheriff threatens Brea, who mentions the security cameras. So, sheriff decides to take Brea away from the gas station.

 

As soon as the pair exit the gas station, helicopters and SUVs surround the area. The FBI has arrived! Apparently, Brea’s old boss (who fired her mind you) has some pretty good connections. The sheriff is handcuffed without question and Brea is given a blanket. If only that was how victims were treated in our society.

 

All in all, Traffik has a few story plot holes. It sexualizes and objectifies women and it perpetuates the idea that victims are kidnapped, drugged and beaten. While that can happen, in the US a victim is much more likely to be victimized by someone in their family or by someone claiming to be a boyfriend. I would not recommend Traffik if you are looking for credible information about human trafficking, or even if you are seeking entertainment.

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