Human trafficking has long been a subject of cinema. The silent Traffic in Souls used it to titillate and promote reform movements as early as 1913.
Since then, the subject has been revisited at various times and in various contexts. In the past decade, the dramatic rise in migration and the demise of national borders across the ‘new’ Europe have turned human traffic into one of the dominant narratives of contemporary cinema. This study focuses on the current cycle of films that play upon global anxieties about trafficking. Like their subject, the essays in this volume cross national borders to reflect on recent films that depict white slavery, drug trafficking and undocumented labour.
The volume considers trafficking films by internationally renowned directors such as Amos Gitaï (Promised Land), the Dardenne Brothers (Lorna’s Silence), Nick Broomfield (Ghosts), Michael Winterbottom (In This World), Ulrich Seidl (Import/Export). A range of documentary and activist films on the topic are also examined, as well as examples from the realm of popular genres, such as Taken (Pierre Morel, 2008).
Part One: Landscapes
Negotiating the Invisible (William Brown)
Foreign Exchange (Leshu Torchin)
Making Traffic Visible, Adjusting the Narrative (Dina Iordanova)
Part Two: Close-Ups
The Guardian Angel
When Mother Comes Home for Christmas
Wesh wesh, qu’est-ce qui se passe?
It’s a Free World…
Love on Delivery and Ticket to Paradise
The Silence of Lorna
Traffic Jam: Film, Activism, and Human Trafficking (Leshu Torchin)
Rowena Santos Aquino, ‘Moving People, Moving Images: Cinema and Trafficking in the New Europe’, Transnational Cinemas, 1:2, 2010, pp. 181-183.
Pamela Donovan, ‘Moving People, Moving Images: Cinema and Trafficking in the New Europe’, Cineaste, Spring 2011, pp. 77-78.
Anyone wanting to learn more about human trafficking through film will be well served by [this book]. It considers films from formal and narrative perspectives, as well as within social and political contexts. Indeed, probably the most important contribution the book makes is in encouraging Western viewers to discover the smaller, quieter films about trafficking.
Timothy E.M. Vine, ‘Book Review: Moving People, Moving Images: Cinema and Trafficking in the New Europe’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 39: 3, 2011, pp.890-891.