The movie Trade, starring Kevin Kline (2007), is a riveting, true to life depiction of the human trafficking industry no holds barred. On a number of occasions during my viewing I struggled to contain my emotions and wondered if I could continue watching without taking a break to absorb it all. The movie is that good, that authentic. And human trafficking is that disturbing.

The story opens in the barrios of Mexico City, with an all-Spanish dialogue. I was instantly reminded of City of Joy,  in that this movie, too, unashamedly immersed me the third world and placed me at the ground level, in the culture, from start to finish. There is no glamor here. There are no special effects or edited content to dramatize or soften the story.

The characters are unforgettable. There’s the 18 year old maverick son who, himself involved in street crime, discovers that his thirteen year old sister has been kidnapped and does not rest until he finds her. There are the trafficking victims, looking heavenward in hopes of survival. There is the Russian mafia and the Mexican mafia and the smaller players who play their part in this tale of terror. There’s an American man, played by Kevin Kline, who is on a search for his missing daughter. There are the corrupt officials, the border crossings and the weeping parents.

 The sense of loss. The loss of innocence. The despair of the trapped. The passionate desperation of the hero to save the lost.


I would highly recommend this movie to anyone. But I am warning you: it is graphic. It is disturbing. But it is real. If you watch it, you will be moved. I promise.

Human trafficking of girls is a global epidemic. International human trafficking is a very lucrative business and attracts a very sordid group of organized criminals. This movie will introduce you to an inside look at the modern day slave trade and the plight of at risk youth.

Find it, rent it, watch it. If you can’t find it at the video store, do what I did. If you don’t already have an account, take Netflix (or Amazon Prime) up on their free trial offer and watch it on-line. And when you’ve finished watching come back here and drop us a comment. We would love to have your in-put, and better yet, we would love to have you join us as we seek to stop this vicious attack on our youth.

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