HIGHLAND, Calif. – In one of the cities of San Bernardo County, the AIB2B Asian Industry Business2Business, founded by community leader Marc Ang for business and professionals in the East San Gabriel Valley, screened on January 12, the movie “Trafficked” which is about the evils of the sex-trafficking trade.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act defines “severe forms of trafficking in persons as: Sex Trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion; or Labor Trafficking: obtaining of a person for labor through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Victims of human trafficking can be of any race/ethnicity, age or gender.”
“We invited members of the business, nonprofit, religious, government, and military communities,” stated Marc, “to attend the screening, sponsored by the Salvation Army at their San Bernardino Hospitality House, to help unite Southern California communities against the scourge of human trafficking. We heard from community law enforcement and nonprofits fighting the fight in ground zero – San Bernardino, which is one of the biggest hubs for the sex trafficking trade.”
“The response to the movie was overwhelmingly positive,” expressed Vincent Chuang of AIB2B, “and provoked lively discussions from the over 150 attendees. We also had representation from Patrick Erlandson from ‘See It End It Films,’ part of SoCal Human Trafficking Events Coalition; 168 Films, true history films with philanthropic and history impact; and Utalk Radio, free internet radio.”
Speakers included Salvation Army Citadel Corps, Major Timothy Carr and Major Jessyca Elgart Carr; Conroy Kanter, one of the producers of “Trafficked”; Sean Flynn, author of Economics for Dummies and Congressional Candidate; Kayla Campbell from Cherished LA, a nonprofit dedicated to helping rehabilitate survivors of human trafficking; and Mike Simpfenderfer of PAVE Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment. Video remarks were heard from Janice Rutherford, Board of Supervisors of San Bernardino County; as well as testimonies from victims of human trafficking.
The 2017 American thriller/drama film was directed by Will Wallace and starred Ashley Judd, Sean Patrick Flanery and Anne Archer. It tells the story, inspired by real characters, of three girls from America, Nigeria, and India, who were trafficked through an elaborate global network and enslaved in a Texas brothel.
Orphaned Sara (US) is celebrating her birthday at a group home when she is offered a job to travel abroad to be a waitress. She accepts, but instead is sold to sex traffickers by Diane.
Young teen Amba (India) is partying with her friends when a guy she’d rejected tries to hit on her again. He is thrown out. On her way back home, he throws acid on her and her friend. Her friend is facially disfigured and Amba’s hand is scarred. Then he forces Amba to be sold into sex slavery.
Sara and Amba both eventually wind up in a Texan brothel where Mali (Nigeria) is also being held. They are raped repeatedly. Amba gets pregnant by Simon, the owner of the brothel, who gave her pills to have a miscarriage.
I guess it won’t be a spoiler if I tell you that together, they attempted a daring escape to reclaim their freedom. Sara is reunited with her younger sister and Amba calls her family, who are overjoyed to hear from her. Simon and Diane are arrested, along with everyone else involved in trafficking. As for Mali, she is shown with a group of prostitutes, holding one of them and crying.
“AIB2B is honored to have our venue this week sponsored by the Salvation Army Corps,” said Marc. “Our goal is to educate the public on widespread human trafficking from San Bernardino, throughout the nation, and the world. We gather once a month, every second Wednesday. Our mission is to build an intimate network of quality professionals engaged in charity, cultural and political activities, to foster meaningful collaborations, enrich business owners’ lives and support a platform to elevate the Asian American community through local business leaders.”