Trafficked Film Review
13 Feb 2016
Trinidad and Tobago has hit the big screen in the United States with intensity and zest! The film Trafficked made it U.S. debut at the 2016 Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, California. After debuting to sold out audiences in the Caribbean, the film’s director, Sean Hodgkinson, along with the producers Garth and Natasha Sinclair is now dedicated to presenting Trafficked on a world stage.
Trafficked chronicles the experience of three friends Penny, Nadia and George who go away on vacation to a tropical island. While vacationing on a budget, Nadia and Penny are assaulted by bandits. When they are rescued by Alejandro, the suave stranger with the arousing voice and hypnotizing facial features, Penny is hooked.
Alejandro upgrades the friends’ budget vacation immensely! He shows them the utmost in hospitality by letting them stay with him in his mansion for the remainder of their vacation. Gourmet meals, 5 star accommodations and unforgettable hospitality make it easy for the three friends to bond with Alejandro. However, this is Alejandro’s design. During their last night together, Alejandro reveals that the best things in life certainly are not free.
During the Q and A, the audience is given the back story by Garth and Natasha Sinclair. It becomes immediately obvious that the film was never intended to be just entertainment, it is much more of a cautionary tale. Garth and Natasha are a married couple who run a radio program in Trinidad which teaches about the ramifications of illicit drug use. Garth was discharged from the military for using crack-cocaine and subsequently incarcerated for 6 months. After his time in prison, Garth was determined to use his story to help others struggling with drug addiction. This is when George met Natasha of Eye on Independence Radio.
In the quest for more information on the drug trade, Garth and Natasha interviewed people incarcerated for drug trafficking in Trinidad as well as the United Kingdom. They were astonished at how many Caribbeans were in prison for trafficking drugs from Trinidad to the U.K. Many of these prisoners told stories about being forced to swallow pellets full of cocaine and heroin and then boarding a plane. There was usually no one to turn to because in some of these cases, it was members of law enforcement that were the people who facilitated the deals and even watched the ‘mules’ swallow the pellets. In a few cases it was the airport security guards that made sure everything ran smoothly. Garth’s main reasons for spearheading this film were to bring awareness to how kids were being used for drug trafficking and to scare those who were willing to attempt this voluntarily.
Trafficked has some quirky moments that made the audience laugh boisterously, beautiful beaches that made the audience swoon longingly and Trinidadian vocabulary that made a few people wish for subtitles. The director ensured those people that a new version of the film with subtitles was on its way. Trafficked was a great watch and a must see for anyone who is interested in the inner workings of the international drug trade. I am looking forward to watching this film again.