“Sex Trafficking”

Millions of vulnerable girls worldwide are being ensnared by human traffickers into the insidious world of sex slavery and exploited relentlessly to generate profits of a hundred billion dollars a year. That is more than the annual profits of Google, Microsoft, Nike and Starbucks combined.

Inspired by real characters from the award-winning book “Sex Trafficking” by Harvard professor Siddharth Kara, Will Wallace’s “Trafficked” follows a trio of intertwining stories about young women forced into the world of human, organ, drug, and gun trafficking. The film focuses on three girls — from America, Nigeria, and India — who, though horrific experiences in the trafficking world, end up as sex slaves in a Texas brothel.

Starring Ashley Judd, Anne Archer, Elisabeth Röhm, Sean Patrick Flanery, Madison Wolfe, and Patrick Duffy, the film looks to cast a glaring light on the human trafficking trade, bolstered by fact-based reporting from Kara. The professor has been researching, writing, teaching, and advocating against modern slavery for nearly two decades, and the film is a continuation of that essential work.

Trafficked proves reasonably effective for educational purposes, with statistics and information about how to help inevitably projected during the end credits. But as a thriller it’s plodding and predictable, not distinguishing itself from the seemingly endless other movies dealing with the subject that have been released in recent years. The torrent of such fare is beginning to feel not so much enlightening as exploitive.

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