Sex Traffic (2004) (TV)

Ξ August 21st, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Arts |


From the page: "It's easy to understand why someone who is starving and homeless might risk everything in search of a better life abroad. But there are countries in which, although they are poorer than the affluent west, people can get by. So why do their citizens endure the most appalling hardship as economic migrants and illegal immigrants? Blame it on the grotesque disparities in exchange rates, which mean that a year's savings in Britain might be a lifetime's in Moldova; but blame it also on our most corrosive export, the myth that sustains our own societies, that man can control his own destiny, that we can, that we must, always seek to make something more of our lives. The irony is that the pursuit of this dream can take all of us only further away from what matters: a place in which, and people with whom, we can be at home.

The subject matter of migration has been excellently served in recent years, through the wonderful Channel Four documentary, 'The Last Peasants', and through Michael Winterbottom's sublime film, 'In This World'. 'Sex Traffic' completes a noble trilogy, with its harrowing but sadly convincing script, fine direction and stunning performances from its leads: British actor John Simm and, in two more demanding roles, a brilliant pair of young Romanian actresses, Anamaria Varince and Maria Popistasu. Serious but also dramatic, this is an outstanding mini-series. I have only two relatively minor quibbles: the journalistic, pseudo-documentary feel is slightly overdone, especially in episode one (the story doesn't need such heavy-handed treatment); and the strange way the film stigmatises an American multinational company. It's perfectly reasonable to believe that the power of such companies is one the main causes of the economic imbalances that fundamentally drive migration; but this company is merely guilty of covering up the fact that some of its employees have done bad things (but of course, it's easier to blame a bogeyman than it is to blame ourselves, and our own outrageous share of the global wealth). Don't let these matters put you off watching one of the most outstanding, emotional, and important, dramas of the year."

 

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