#Film Review: Netflix’s Traffik

Director: Deon Taylor

Rating: 3/5

I just watched this film, and it really gave me food for thought. It addresses the journalism practice and the issue of masculinist culture in the news industry but also of the exploitation of women that happens on a daily basis and not many cares. The story in the film deserves to be told, and the fact that it is based on real life makes the story shocking, to say the least.

Brea (Paula Patton) is a journalist in city news, and she is trying to write a story on corruption. In that, she goes into the context and provides a detailed account of how and why the corruption happens. Her editor, however, decides to give the story to another journalist who simply focuses on one corrupted case and turns it into sensationalism. She protests but only for her editor to say they may not be placed for her in the newsroom anymore. This is typical of news industry versed in the masculinist practice of the so-called hard news and sensationalism, whilst ignoring the context and the real story. This is actually the subject of my research. The first paper on bloke-ification is already available.

In other words, newsrooms are still places for blokes and stereotypically masculinist way of doing things.

However, since it is also Brea’s birthday her partner takes her away to an idyllic house outside of the town. But, on the way there they stop on a gas station only to draw interest from a trafficking ring that clearly saw her as a potential target. The bikers, who are part of the ring, provoke her black boyfriend and cause a fight. They, however, follow them to the house and she ends up being kidnapped along with a friend of hers, with the police clearly being involved in trafficking…

One of the most truthful and certainly most disgusting moments is when a female police officer calls trafficked women products for sale. This is sadly the truth and as the film narrates at the end, there are about 20 million trafficking victims in the world. This is one-third of the population of the UK, and nobody cares. We all know it is happening, charities work with victims who tell their stories and that is it. However, this film tell us the story and remind us that while we suffer everyday problems and make a big deal out of them, some people suffer horrific sexual abuse, slavery and deprivation of any identity, personality and personal freedom. Something many of us takes for granted.

I really wish the world was a better place based on the values of ecofeminism (more research on this coming up in the following years), and thus equality and diversity based on personal freedom. We truly did not deserve the free will we have as humans because we do not use it for good.

If you would like to know more about the problem of trafficking some charities that campaign about this and help the victims are Stop the TraffiK, Unseen, and ECPAT UK.

Thank you for reading.

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