DVD Review: Human Trafficking
Human Trafficking (2005)
Studio: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: May 2, 2006
Directed By: Christian Duguay
Cast: Mira Sorvino, Robert Carlyle, Donald Sutherland, Laurence Leboeuf, & Isabelle Blais
Deadly DVD Rating: 3 ½ out of 5 stars
Review By: Annie Riordan
The apparent suicide of a fourteen year old Russian prostitute leads NYPD agent Kate Morozov into the world of human trafficking, in which young women and children are bribed, blackmailed, seduced, abducted and finally sold into enforced prostitution and/or slavery. Among them, a sixteen year old schoolgirl from Kiev, a single mother from Russia and a twelve year old American girl snatched off the streets of Manila. Calling all the shots and holding all the cards is Sergei Karpovich, a glorified pimp who makes up for in viciousness what he lacks in stature. As Kate descends deeper into the sick and sordid world of sex for sale, she discovers a race of abused and broken women, all of them emotionally murdered and too terrified of the powerful Karpovich to even consider freeing themselves. But Kate is determined to bring Sergei down, with or without help and regardless of her own personal safety.
The very words “A Lifetime Channel Movie” are enough to make me dry heave a little bit. Normally, I find Lifetime: Television For Women to be insulting to its target audience, filled with vacuous, romance-novel crap detailing the sex lives of the rich and shameless with such titles as “Terror In The Mall,” “Another Woman’s Husband,” and “Savage Panties.” Okay, well, maybe not that last one, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it turned up eventually. However, I decided to give “Human Trafficking” a shot for two very good reasons. 1 – It had gotten good reviews and 2 – I’d like to rent Robert Carlyle for an hour or two and molest him with my tongue until I get lockjaw.
That said, Human Trafficking surprised me by being quite good. Not great, but better than any Lifetime movie has a right to be. Granted, there are instances of corny, stereotypical dialog, a couple of bullshit plot twists and a quasi-happy ending which, although it avoids being saccharine, is highly doubtful considering the ruthlessness of real life sex traders. It’s a Lite version of Eastern Promises, but it’s still brutal enough to make Hostel fans flinch.
Rape, degradation, abuse, child prostitution, porn…it’s all here for you to take a big, steamy gawk at, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I took a long, hot shower once this three hour bout of nausea was over. If you were already paranoid about being a woman in this day and age, and have ever wondered (as I have) what might have happened if you’d let that creepy janitor in the third grade take your hand, or accepted that scumbag’s offer to work in his strip club at age seventeen, this movie will have you donning Kevlar undergarments, adopting a pitbull and purchasing pepper spray in bulk. At its core, this is some damn scary shit, simply because it really does happen.