Human trafficking is a serious issue in just about all countries, American, Asian or European. There exists a great variety of movies that try to educate or entertain viewers about the realities of human trafficking, the dangerous criminals that are involved, the cruelty that the victims go through, and the role of governments.
In this article, we have compiled a list containing the top ten movies about human trafficking.
#10. Spartan (2004)
Robert Scott a retired US Marine Corps Sergeant, teams up with the CIA, the FBI, and a knife fighting instructor to find the president’s missing daughter. The team discovers a sex trafficking operation that could lead to her kidnappers.
As a story of deception starring Val Kilmer, Derek Luke, and Ed O’Neill. Spartan is more than just a political thriller. It is clearly elevated by director David Mamet’s clever written dialogues. The movie, however, received mixed reviews by critics as well as audiences.
#9. Eden (2012)
In this film, a young Korean-American girl, Jamie Chung, is kidnapped and forced into prostitution and she has to cooperate with her captors to survive the criminal world.
Eden explores the disturbing realities of human trafficking, including daily pregnancy testing, forced pornography, and torture for attempting to run away. It also explores the very complex moral choices that the victims have to make to survive.
#8. The Jammed (2007)
The movie revolves around a Chinese mother, Sunee, who sets on a journey to rescue her daughter from an underground world of sex trade. The movie begins with the immigration officers interrogating a woman who has been working as a prostitute to pay off her debts for entering Australia with false papers.
Then we flashback to three months prior to the questioning to the story of a woman enslaved in the Melbourne brothel. The Jammed has been applauded for its extensive research and has been nominated for 17 awards, winning for best feature film, best script, and best music.
#7. Las Elegidas (2015)
A young man named Ulises is groomed by his family to lure young girls into their prostitution ring. However, he falls in love with his latest victim, Sofia, and tries his best to rescue her.
This film doesn’t have a happy ending. Sofia is replaced by another girl and has to stay with Ulises’s family to take care of the hostage children of enslaved women.
While Ulises feels guilt over what happened, he does nothing. The film ends on a sad note with Sofia sitting across Ulises with intense fear in her eyes.
#6. Sold (2014)
Lakshmi is a 14-year-old girl living in rural Nepal with her mother and her disabled father. She meets Bimla, a foreign woman who offers her a job in India as a maid, and Lakshmi takes it in desperation to lend her family a helping hand.
Lakshmi then on gets dragged into a world of human trafficking where she’s forced to work in a brothel and is drugged and raped.
Sold is a narrative film based on Patricia McCormick’s novel with the same name. It highlights the nature of the sex trafficking world with gruesome details, how it involves underage girls who are raped and thrown back to the streets. If they get an STD or kept in the brothel with threats of organ selling.
In the end, Lakshmi manages to escape and the women running the brothel are arrested. The movie ends with all the victims burning their work clothes at the brothel.
#5. The Whistleblower (2010)
Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraskan cop, starts working for the UN peacekeeping missions in Bosnia named Dinecorp. There she discovers that her employees are involved in a sex trafficking ring, and when she tries to take action, she’s fired. Kathryn then sets on a mission to blow their cover.
The Whistleblower is a Canadian, German and American production. It’s a crime drama with some hints of the biographical genre. The movie educates the viewer on how corrupted systems impact sex trafficking, featuring some intensely violent scenes, something many critics have found troubling.
However, many viewers thought the violence was necessary to paint an accurate picture of the trafficking world.
#4. Mardaani (2014)
Shivani Shivaji Roy is a dedicated officer at the Mumbai Police Force and works to uncover a Delhi-based trafficking mafia. Shivani’s interest in the cases of kidnapped girls leads her to uncover the human trafficking mafia.
Mardaani is an Indian thriller about a policewoman that narrates the details of sex trafficking, the everyday sexual abuse, the violence, the drug dealing, prostitution, and the realities of a failing judicial system that lets criminals escape.
The movie was nominated for twelve awards, from which three were won.
#3. Trade (2007)
Adriana, a 13-year-old girl in Mexico City, is kidnapped by sex traffickers and forced into prostitution. Her brother, Jorge, joins forces with a Texas cop, Ray, who also experienced losses to sex trafficking. Together, they set off to find Adriana and jump through a corrupt system of immigration officers and the police.
Trade has received mixed reviews. Some say the sex trafficking message gets lost in the lighthearted jokes between Rey and Jorge, while others say it was an eye-opener.
Either way, Trade tackles the issue of child trafficking within America and is definitely worth a watch for everyone.
#2. Taken (2008)
Kim, an American girl, is kidnapped by a gang of Albanian human traffickers while she’s vacationing with a friend in Paris. Her father, Bryan, who was an ex CIA, a field agent, sets on a journey to save her, discovering a world of drugs, sex slavery, underground human auctioning, and underage prostitutionز
Taken is also titled The Hostage at 96 Hours because Bryan has a 96 hours ultimatum to save his daughter.
Some critics found the entire premise of the movie overdone barnlike city recognitions are nothing new on TV, while others thought it was very well made and the actors did an amazing job portraying their characters.
#1. Eastern Promises (2007)
Eastern Promises is our number one pick of Top 10 Human Trafficking Movies.
A British Russian midwife named Anna delivers the baby of a 14-year-old mother who tragically died during the birth of her child. Anna then sets out to find the family of the baby and finds herself in the crosshairs of a Russian Mafia and an underlying world of drugs and human trafficking.
Joining forces with the local police, she eventually helps catch the Russian Mafia in London and ends up getting custody of the baby.
Critics Loved Eastern Promises for its realistic portrayal of Russian career criminals. It appeared on several critics’ Top Ten lists for the year 2007 and has received several awards for best film.
The movie was rated at 7.6 on a scale of ten on the IMDb website and received a meta score of 82 on Metacritic.
This was our Top 10 Human Trafficking Movies list. We have been able to compile a great list of the best Human Trafficking Movies of all time. Do you agree with our list? If you have any suggestions or comments please shoot them down in the comments below.