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Filmography on Human Trafficking

Prostitution, forced labor, slavery, trafficking for begging or committing petty crimes, removal of organs.


terradimezzoTerra di mezzo, directed by Matteo Garrone, 78 minutes, 1997, drama. Italy. DVD in Italian with subtitles. Distribution Fandango Film. DVD is part of a set of Garrone films.

Three short films shot in the outskirts of Rome, the first film's theme is Nigerian prostitution. It touches on the role of "juju."




terrepromiseTerre Promise, directed by Amos Gitai, 90 minutes, 2004, drama. Israel.

Amos Gitai's film traces the routes of Eastern European victims of forced prostitution who are brought to the Middle East.



sextrafficSex Traffic, directed by David Yates, 3 hours, 2004, TV film, drama. United Kingdom.

Sex Traffic is based on real events and portrays the human trafficking phenomenon in the Balkans, Italy, and England.



lilyaforeverLilya for ever, directed by Lucas Moodysson, 109 minutes, 2003, drama. Sweden.

Lilya, 16 years old, lives in an urban area in part of the ex-Soviet Union. Her mother went to the United States with her partner. Lilya falls in love with Andrei, who asks her to come with him to Sweden.



labellagenteLa Bella gente directed by Ivano De Matteo, 98 minutes, 2011, drama. Italy.

Suzanna, a psychologist for female victims of violence, saw Nadja, a young Ukrainian prostitute, being beaten and humiliated by a man in the street. Influenced by the ideals of 1968, Suzanna, with her husband, Alfredo's, consent, decided to bring Nadja home. But everything changed when Nadja attracted the attention of Suzanna's son, revealing the true colors of this bourgeoisie Romanian family. The film portrays the challenges associated with the societal integration of human trafficking victims.


saimirSaimir, directed by Francesco Munzi, 88 minutes, 2004, drama, Italy.

Saimir, a 15-year-old originally from Albania, lives with his father, Edmond, in the village of Latium, Italy. Edmond traffics emigrants for local agricultural businesses. Saimir does not support his father's activities, but is nonetheless involved in them. However, everything changes when he discovers his father's involvement in a network of young prostitutes.



promessedelombreLes promesses de l'ombredirected by David Cronenberg, 100 minutes, 2007, thriller. United States, England, Canada.

Anna, who works in a hospital, helped a young woman give birth. After the death of the mother, Anna was determined to find the family of the newborn with the help of the deceased's diary, written in Russian. The film depicts the Russian mafia and the members of the Vori V' Zakone, as well as human trafficking and prostitution networks in London.



LoverboyLoverboy, directed by Catalin Mitulescu, 95 minutes, 2011. Drama. Romania, Sweden, Serbia.

At 20 years old, Lucas is irresistible to girls and uses his charm for criminal means. Once he seduces the girls, they are forced to prostitute themselves for a network near the Black Sea (on the port of Constansa). His experience with one of his victims causes him to think about what he is doing. Lucas falls in love. The film portrays the practices of "Loverboy," who participates in the recruitment phase, until the victim is transferred.


 Forced Begging

lamomexiaoLa môme Xiao, directed by Xue chan de Tao Peng, 99 minutes, 2007, drama. China.

A little girl is sold to beg in the street. The director subtly exposes the behavior of the local mafia.



Labor Exploitation

lapetiteveniseLa petite Venise, directed by Andréa Sergre, 98 minutes, 2012, drama. Italy.

La Petite Venise portrays the meeting of Bepi, a retired fisherman who arrived in Italy thirty years ago from the former Yugoslavia, and Shun Li, a young barmaid who just arrived from China. Aside from romance, the film touches on Chinese immigration, clothing workshops, and debt repayment (which enabled Shun Lin to bring her son to Italy from China).


itsafrreworld2It's a free world, directed by Ken Loach, 93 minutes, 2008, drama, England.

Angie, unemployed, and her roommate Rose, open a recruitment agency for immigrants looking for work. Their business is successful. The film depicts the exploitation of illegal immigrants in England.



lapromesseLa promesse, directed by Jean pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, 93 minutes, 1996, drama. Belgium.

The film portrays the father-son relationship of Igor, a 15-year old mechanic's apprentice and go-kart fanatic, and Roger, who finds construction work for undocumented male immigrants. Igor is involved in his father's business but does not ask many questions until the day he is faced with a life-changing decision.



haiti cherieHaïti chérie, directed by Claudio del Punta, 99 minutes, 2007, drama, Italy.

A young couple working on plantations in the Dominican Republic wants to return to Haiti, their country of origin. They begin to travel across the island. The film portrays the working conditions on sugar cane plantations.



BiutifulBiutiful, directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, 138 minutes, 2010, drama, Spain/Mexico.

In Barcelona, Uxbal, obsessed by his past, tries to protect his children from their mother. In order to survive, he organizes a shipment of counterfeit products for Hai, a Chinese gangster. The products will be sold in the street by undocumented immigrants. The film portrays hidden workshops and the situations of exploitation that are experienced by the people working in them.


fastfoodnationFast food Nation, directed by Richard Linklater, 116 minutes, 2006, drama, United States/England.

Don Henderson, the head of marketing for the fast food chain Mickey's, learns that some contaminated meat has been discovered in the famous Big One, the brand's biggest-selling hamburger. When he leaves his office for southern California, he sees another world. The film portrays the exploitation of Mexican migrants who work in factories that violate all of the labor codes and lack hygiene and security.


Domestic Work

RabiaRabia, directed by Sébastien Cordero, 95 minutes, 2009, thriller, Spain/Colombia, Mexico.

Rosa works for a wealthy, condescending family that keeps a watchful eye on her. This thriller shows the conditions experienced by South American immigrants in Spain.



okenoughgoobbyeOk, Enough, goodbye, directed by Rania Atieh and Daniel Garcia, 95 minutes, 2011, comedy, Lebanon.

Tripoli and Lebanon. A single 40-year old man seeks work through an agency for domestics. The film uses humor to portray the caustic portrait of this man.



In Sports

commeunlionComme un lion, directed by Samuel Collardey, 102 minutes, drama, France.

Mitri, 16 years old, spends his time playing soccer in the streets of his village in Senegal. His dreams become reality when a recruiter notices him, but he must pay 5 million francs CFA in advance for his lodging fees in France. To help him, Mitri's grandmother sells the orchard that has enabled them to survive and goes into debt to the women in the village. In the Paris area, Mitri is abandoned and left without money in a soccer stadium. He refuses to return to Senegal without achieving his dreams and paying back his debt.



Coercion to Commit Petty Crimes

setteopereSette opere di Misericordia, directed by Gianluca and Massimiliano de Serio, 103 minutes, 2011, drama. Italy.

In Turin, Luminata, a young Romanian girl, survives by stealing cars and giving the money she earns to her "boss." She formulates a plan to escape from the network and obtain fake documents. Then she meets Antonio, an old lonely man. He is sick and Luminata chooses him as a target, but he slowly becomes a support for her. The film shows Luminata's exploitation and the violence she suffers when she tries to leave the network.



Maria pleine de grâce, directed by Joshua Marston, 102 minutes, 2004, drama. United States/Colombia.

Maria, a 17-year-old Colombian girl who is 3 months pregnant, lives with her sister in an overcrowded house. Her only future is to be a single mother, like her sister. Maria wants to leave her country because she is tired of being exploited by her family and by her employer, the owner of a rose plantation. Working with a local mafia member to become a "drug mule" seems to be her only way to escape.


Organ Trafficking

dirtyprettythingsDirty pretty thingsdirected by Stephen Frears, 107 minutes, 2003, drama. England.

Okwe, a Nigerian immigrant, works as a taxi driver during the day and a hotel receptionist at night. He shares his apartment with Senay, a young Turkish woman, who is an asylum seeker and works as a maid at the hotel. Their routines are disrupted by what is discovered in one of the hotel rooms. The film portrays conditions of immigrants in London and the organ trafficking phenomenon.


etatdechoc2Etat de Choc, directed by Baltazar Kormakur, 83 minutes, 2010, thriller. United States.

A prosecutor's daughter contracts a rare disease and the only cure is a lung transplant. The child is far from being the first on the transplant waiting list. The possible solution may be found in Mexico.



captifsCaptifs, directed by Yann Gozlan, 84 minutes, 2010, thriller, France.

Carole is part of a humanitarian group in the Balkans. After taking a detour, she and her group members are kidnapped by criminals whose motivations are unclear. The film portrays organ trafficking in the Balkans.