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22 February 2021

The Human Cost

by Syd Briscoe

Public Safety Canada: “Human Trafficking” - 90s

The hidden side of human trafficking is exposed in this hard-hitting Public Safety film from Canada. While many will picture the practice as taking place in shady shipping containers involving people far removed from their own demographic, the film offers a sharp reminder that vulnerable people are groomed and abused right under our noses.

Far from a dramatic kidnapping or Taken-esque abduction, the audience is shown the gradual progression of a relationship in which one party holds all the cards. There is love, affection, and abuse, and the three are so tightly entwined that it's impossible to blame the victim for not extricating themselves.

Director Mark Zibert and DOP Eric Kaskens have done a great job of offering a window into both the situation and characters' mental states here, as moments of joy and terror blur together until the conclusion feels inevitable. This is valuable viewing which should serve as a wake-up call to those who think human trafficking only happens somewhere else, to someone else.

Director: Mark Zibert Ⓟ Ⓦ (Rogue Films Ⓟ Ⓦ)
Cinematographer: Mark Zibert / Eric Kaskens
1st AC / Focus Puller: Jackson Yeung
Production Designer: Katherine Salnek

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