'Frontline: Sex Trafficking In America'
(DVD / PG-13 / 2019 / PBS)
Overview: 'Frontline: Sex Trafficking In America' exposes the hidden reality of sex trafficking, inside a police unit and a victim's harrowing story.
Filmed over three years, a look at how victims are groomed and sold and innovative ways undercover police target traffickers and buyers.
DVD Verdict: In this gripping hour long documentary, award-winning director Jezza Neumann and producer Lauren Mucciolo ('Poor Kids') embed with the Phoenix police unit that's tackling child sexual exploitation.
Offering an inside look at the lucrative industry through unique access to a series of undercover, high-stakes police operations they also film with young women who have escaped the trade.
“I didn’t even know what sex trafficking was before I was taken,” Kat says in this eye-opening FRONTLINE documentary. "I didn’t know that I would end up in this situation that I ended up in.”
Jezza Neumann and Lauren Mucciolo — the director and producer behind the film — found that, like Kat, many people were unaware of the American woman and girls being sexually exploited within the U.S.
“Most people thought it was an international thing,” Neumann says, but as the documentary quickly reveals, there's more to this story for there are many layers to peel back.
On the forefront, you have a film about trafficking, but what you also have is this film about these amazingly empowered women. You have it through the detectives, and the work they’re doing and the sacrifices they give.
They’re moms as well, so they’re trying to be parents and do this job that’s all consuming. And then you have the prosecutor, she’s a woman in a really strong position.
And then you have the aforementioned Kat and Marriah and the other survivors — these young women have been through horrific, horrific situations.
But as we eventually get to see, they are coming out of it with strength and not letting it defeat them, and using it to better themselves where they can.
What's horrifically revealed though in 'Frontline: Sex Trafficking In America' is a crime that's both hidden in plain sight and growing - due in part to social media, where traffickers often start to groom and recruit young women and girls.
With extensive and intimate access to local law enforcement, prosecutors, service providers and the women themselves this new documentary shines a much needed, and much welcomed light on the hidden reality of sex trafficking in America. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.