A painfully intimate study of the horrors of sex trafficking in Myanmar
(formerly Burma), this powerful documentary represents the sort of risk-taking investigative
journalism that today’s TV news media practice only rarely. Ferraro and her bare-bones crew dared
to smuggle their recording equipment past the military and enlisted the clandestine help of a social
worker to gain access to four women who agreed to talk about their experiences as enslaved prostitutes.
The women speak in agonizing detail of having been sold — some
by their own parents or boyfriends — into lives of violence, poverty, hunger, and degradation;
their pimps pay local police to turn a blind eye to the trafficking, which is conducted out
of restaurants and hotels. With up to 40 million women enslaved worldwide — human
trafficking is estimated by the United Nations to be the world’s fastest-growing criminal
enterprise — the film deserves to be shocking, and it is. Though the women are seen striving
to create new and better lives for themselves, Ferraro hardly disguises the realities of extreme
poverty in Myanmar and throughout Southeast Asia that will likely keep some of the world’s poorest
and most vulnerable people trapped in sex slavery. When 17-year-old ZuZu — who disappeared
during the editing of the film — says, “I wonder what English-speaking people will think
of this,” she seems to be speaking for Ferraro as well.