Human Trafficking in film

Human trafficking is a very real, very sad part of life. If you are not aware of how relevant the issue of slavery is today, then I beg you to do some research. Spend half an hour on Google educating yourself on what the truth is; if you can help one of the estimated 27 million in bondage it’s the least you can do.

Recently I’ve noticed how society is slowly becoming more aware of the issue and one of the ways this is manifesting itself is in cinema.

The most famous and possibly most talked about example is that of Taken, the Liam Neeson thriller of a father whose daughter is kidnapped. Note, from this point on, the blog contains spoilers, for both Taken and Skyfall. Please read on anyway as there is more to life than plot twists in films.

I watched this film after I had heard about human trafficking. I’m no expert on the subject, but I knew enough to have an idea which parts were believable. The tactics used, the drug infested hideout on the builder’s yard and the fact she is moved about are all believable actions for an experienced trafficker to take. The OTT gameshow style auction, is not and nor are the high prices therein.

It is however the actions of Liam Neeson’s character, Bryan Mills, which really angered me. He didn’t care about justice.

Justice is impersonal, fair and unbiased. Impartial is it’s middle name, and this was not something Mr Mills could be said to be. His quest was for his daughter and everyone else can go hang. As such, all the other victims of the traffickers are just left.

I remember the final scene set on the yacht. A sheikh has bought his daughter and plans to have his way with her. Bryan spots three girls all in white, one of whom is his daughter. He remains hidden, waiting for his moment to strike, before taking on all the armed guards. After much struggle, he wins before the sheikh can have his way with her daughter. She accompanies her dad become home to America and they start to patch up their relationship. Cue credits, curtains.

What bugs me is there are two girls who are just forgotten. Not by me!!

This would be ok if it was a filmmaker error, and perhaps it is, but there are other scenes which imply this is part of Mr Mills’s character. One scene sees him actually rescue a girl from a brothel, but we soon see that this is just because she has his daughter’s jacket on. As soon as he’s got the next location out of her, he leaves her for dead.

Now I know that Bryan Mills is not supposed to be a perfect character, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to let this go quietly. This is wrong and I for one am going to make a stand and say no.

I know that some will defend it for being a good thing that awareness is being raised, but there is so much misinformation in this film that I don’t buy that argument. One of its clear messages is that one man can track down a kidnapee in less than four days. The point of raising awareness is to say that trafficking is a real issue and we have to fight it, something I don’t think this film promoted.

The reason I mention this now is that I’ve recently been reminded about the subject as I read on this blog that the subject was featured in Skyfall too.

I must admit I’ve not seen the film. I have never been a great fan of Bond’s womanising and I had already heard there was a scene where he walked in on a woman in the shower. I didn’t hear the full context, but I must admit it sounded creepy and put me off seeing it.

Now that I know a bit more of the context (see that blog for details) it’s all the worse. Bond is no better than Bryan Mills; in fact I’m all the more angry at this. He’s a right ***************!!!

What also infuriates me is that this is a mainstream film. Taken was not and as such can get away with being darker. James Bond is aimed at all ages and all boys have heard his name. The film-makers should be taking responsibility for the role-model they are presenting but instead are more concerned about the thrill of the ride.


Yours in anger,


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