Film Portrays Gruesome Realities of Human Trafficking

By Jane Morse
USINFO Staff Writer

Vienna, Austria -Beatings, bruises, degradation, terror, sickness and death - these things are everyday reality for victims of human trafficking.  And all of it has been poignantly portrayed in Human Trafficking, a film starring Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino and Emmy winner Donald Sutherland.

Produced in 2005 and directed by Christian Duguay, this film was shown at a special event hosted in Vienna, Austria, by the U.S. Department of State, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and Austria’s Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs.

The reception and screening on April 24 was part of an effort to raise international awareness about the crime of human trafficking - one event among many surrounding the 16th Session of the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. The weeklong session brought together hundreds of diplomats, judges, lawyers, police officers, criminal justice policy makers and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world.

In her remarks before the film showing at Vienna’s Cineplexx movie theatre, U.S. Ambassador to Austria Susan McCaw emphasized that human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery.  Human trafficking, she said, is “a global menace,” and its profits “feed organized crime and perhaps even terrorist organizations.”

Originally shown on Lifetime TV in the United States as a miniseries, the film has Sutherland and Sorvino portraying government agents who crack an international human smuggling ring.  The story follows several young women who have been tricked into prostitution.

DVDs with subtitles in some nine different languages are available free to interested audiences.  However, the producers and owners of this production require that a U.S. State Department official help organize screenings.

For more information, contact the U.S. Mission to the U.N. Office in Vienna, Public Affairs; telephone, 0043 (01) 31339 4741.