Kidnapping and Human Trafficking: a Movie Review

Generating billions of dollars per year, human trafficking is rapidly rising as one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world (nurses). The issue of enslaving people into human trafficking has been around for centuries and is claimed to be one of the worlds earliest lines of work. While It is necessary to inform others about the dangers of human trafficking, the media is known to portray a false reality of the situation. In today’s time, public knowledge laboriously relies on the mass media. The media has the ability to influence societal opinion on things that the public do not regularly encounter. Because of this, human Trafficking can sometimes depict a much more glamourized version of the truth. This can be done by flaunting the crime’s outstanding profits rather than showing the horrors of what tortures the victims go through or how on the rise the sex trafficking industry is in the United States.

One way the media has given us a look into human trafficking is with the popular 2008 film Taken. Written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, directed by Pierre Morel. The action movie did remarkably well in theatres leading producers to continue the story and develop a series. Now the trilogy has made an estimate of almost a billion dollars worldwide. In the plot Liam Neeson starred as a father, Brian, who backpacks across Europe in attempts to find his 17 year old estranged daughter who has been abducted by an albanian gang known for its prostitution rings. A brief phone call interaction with the kidnapper occurs and Brian promises to find and kill him if he does not let his daughter go. This phone call gives the father tiny clues into finding his daughter. The first taken movie shows an optimistic value of the real endangerments of human trafficking.

There are many different forms of human trafficking. Upon hearing the term majority of people think of being kidnapped, drugged and forced into slavery. Instead however, the people behind the crime often have a thorough plan that often includes a bribe that appeals to the victims. They give out job offers, ask women on dates to get closer to them, or even show off their expensive earnings in attempts to lead a person to follow them. Once the captors have overpowered their victims they are commonly forced to do labor work, are forced into sexual slavery, or even have their organs stolen from them and sold on the black market.

Girl in the Box is a lifetime movie that came out last year based on a true story that occured in 1977. Colleen Stan is a twenty-two year old woman who had been kidnapped by a married couple while hitchhiking to a birthday party. The couple used her as a day and night worker and slave. She was forced to do work in the backyard, around the house, and anything else they could think of and threatened to kill her if she disobeyed. At one point in the film the man takes colleen to her family who thinks she is dead. He forces her to tell them she has actually ran away with this man because they are in love. Her words are scripted, she cannot tell the truth in fear of her captor killing her or her family. After seven years of suffering the man’s wife decided to set her free. This is a rare situation where she is actually released opposed to where the majority of the enslaved do not end up with happy outcomes. Many die in captivity before they are ever able to escape and find their way back to their world and life before.

I chose these two movies to talk about and compare two completely different human trafficking stories. Taken, portrays an optimistic hope throughout the storyline with a father traveling the world to find his daughter. However in the other movie Girl in the box the girl’s family assumes she is dead because she has disappeared. This detail from the movie shows the public eye can have no idea what is going on behind the doors of their neighbors. The Girl in the Bunker shows more of a realistic version of human trafficking because it is a more plotted version of a kidnapping. The traffickers came up with a well thought out plan when abducting the person of choice without the general public hearing about it opposed to a kidnapping where a daughter of a former CIA agent is taken and auctioned for thousands. Some captors even go as far as to having a relationship with their victim, impregnating the woman, and then enslaving her and the child when it is born. Even if the plan takes years, they will do it so that their chances of getting caught are minimal.

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Kidnapping and Human Trafficking: A Movie Review. (2021, Jun 01). Retrieved August 5, 2022 , from

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