Vol. 12 “Nefarious: Merchant of Souls” (film)

Watching this documentary is deeply disturbing, depicting in graphic detail the traumatizing and dehumanizing of young women for the purpose of selling sex. At times I felt physically sick seeing how these young women were regarded as “things” not humans. 

Giving an in-depth look at the factors that contribute to human trafficking including poverty, statelessness, being orphaned and perhaps the hardest to comprehend, parents sending their oldest daughters into prostitution in order to support the family, one realizes the complexity of the issue. The trafficking spans areas from Eastern Europe to Las Vegas in the United States. 

Listening to interviews with various people: former pimps, social workers, psychiatrists, Christian pastors and NPO representatives, one can better grasp the depth of how lives are forever impacted by this insidious evil. Some of those who are fortunate to be rescued spend their whole lives in counseling in order to come to an understanding of what happened to them and how they may overcome it. Sadly some are never able.  

Nefarious is a powerful and informative film, expressing empathy for the victims. And there is hope! In the latter part of the documentary the Nordic model approach to prostitution (*) is explained. Also included is a strong Christian message urging people to pray, along with some testimonies by former prostitutes and a pimp. Even if one isn’t a Christian, I strongly encourage you to watch the film not only for the awareness it brings of the terrible reality, but also for the possibility of finding a changed life that it offers.

“The film ends with the assertion that slavery today is not just an education and development problem – it’s a moral issue – the missing belief that women have an inherent value beyond their sexuality.” (From an online reviewer.)

*The Nordic model is based on four pillars, namely criminalizing buyers of sex, decriminalizing prostitutes, offering help and services for prostitutes to leave the sex industry, and awareness and education of the general public.

(Kathy Burton-Lewis, Bonnie Jinmon)

(Directed by Benjamin Nolot in 2011, 99min.
Producer Exodus Cry website with trailer: https://exoduscry.com/oursolution/film/
Watch for free on YouTube :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFaDHgXPbUg )