Saturday, November 11, 2017

Break the Chain (PDXFF 2017) - Documentary Review

The Movie: Break the Chain

The Directors: Laura E. Swanson and Kirk Mason

The Story: The film chronicles two survivors of Human Trafficking - providing a detailed look at how trafficking goes unnoticed within our backyards. Kwami, a child survivor of Labor Trafficking, was enslaved for nearly five years with three other children in Ypsilanti, Michigan before anyone noticed. Debbie, a survivor of Sex Trafficking, takes us through her experience of being sold for sex around the Detroit-Area between the ages of 13 and 18. -

This hour long documentary hits the nail on the head when it comes exposing how widespread human trafficking really is. We see it in the movies, we see it in the headlines, and we see it seemingly from far away, but in reality, it is right around the corner, just down the street, and affecting people we know every single day. The film makers have done a great job of giving us first hand accounts from the two primary subjects as well as others who they were able to reach over the phone or on the streets. The conversations are intimate and personal without being invasive

It was very interesting and, at times heartbreaking, to listen to Debbie and Kwami describe the struggles of slavery they were forced to endure. Being pulled from your homes, stolen from your family, and taken to a place you are completely unfamiliar with is what trafficking is all about. It's a con game that is nearly inescapable and these two endured it and ultimately became much better people because of it. Unfortunately, that is a rare achievement and that is why this documentary is a necessary way to shed light on he dark corners of our world.

The perspective on human trafficking changes when it's in your own backyard so the cameras stay focused on small towns and rural areas where you might not think it had ever been an issue. It's important to understand that these people are not criminals, they are victims. They are the supply made available to meet the demand and this documentary is about humanizing an industry that is often sensationalized and the participants are dehumanized to the point of being disposable commodities.

To Break the Chain is to take action.

National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1 (888) 373-7888

For more information, you an visit the film's official website.

Break the Chain is an official selection of the 2017 Portland Film Festival. coverage of the 2017 Portland Film Festival.

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