Human trafficking claims 100,000 girls annually in the U.S. alone. Photo credit: iStockphoto.
Human trafficking: it’s not a fictional plot device created by talented scriptwriters for Hollywood action flicks like Taken and TV dramas like 24.
It is a real, modern-day form of slavery in which individuals (women and young girls in particular) are taken hostage and forced and coerced into performing sexual acts for commercial profit, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
And it’s something more and more filmmakers are addressing.
Since September 2009, the five young directors, writers and producers behind “Sex and Money: A National Search for Human Worth” have traveled across the U.S. to investigate and expose one of the most illegal underground industries in the world.
While the group’s last television series primarily focused on human trafficking in other parts of the world, their new documentary will strictly investigate the U.S. sex slave trade.
Besides conducting research in Washington D.C., they have interviewed porn stars, former prostitutes, political leaders and authors in an effort to raise awareness and encourage social awakening.
Photojournalist Tim Dyk told Christianity Today’s Elissa Cooper that as Christians, “We need to be willing to go to these areas, be willing to have conversations about sex, about prostitution, about helping people who are coming out of prostitution, because even Jesus wants to [reach out to] prostitutes. He recognized that they are needy people just like anyone else, just like we are.”
Although producers are not marketing the documentary as a “Christian” film, many people who working on the project are outspoken believers. In conjunction with photogenX, a ministry of Youth With A Mission, they are striving to expose the hard truths about prostitution in America, including the “the sexual exploitation of children,” according to the film’s official web site.
“There are so many different ways that we can work [against trafficking],” said Dyk. “I just think a lot of this requires the church, as followers of Christ, to walk out in what he’s calling us to do, [and] it can look different for each person. I think people just need to see how the Spirit leads and see how they can use their gifts.”
You can find out more about “Sex + Money: A National Search for Human Worth” at their official web site: www.sexandmoneyfilm.com. You can also watch trailers and webisodes on the group’s YouTube channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/sexandmoneyglobal.
The documentary is tentatively scheduled for a fall 2010 release date.