The New Abolitionists


1H 38MIN

Availability ended 2/23/2021 EDT
Filmmaker Christina Zorich follows four NGOs throughout Southeast Asia as they fight to affect change and end human sex trafficking.
This documentary follows Christian activist groups that reach out to sex slaves in Cambodia and Thailand in hopes of rescuing as many as possible and giving them better opportunities. It is a non-stop, unflinching account of what millions of teens and children are forced to endure to keep the sex industry thriving and pay their families’ meager bills at home.   Because of Pol Pot’s devastating regime of the mid-1970s, poverty, illiteracy, and greed have created the perfect conditions to drive Cambodians, Thai, and many others to sex work for their survival. This in turn brings sex “tourists” from all over the world who know their actions will likely not be punished, nor their identities traced too diligently.   Thankfully, we hear from several former sex slaves who speak candidly about their psychological healing. The groups have set up schools for literacy and job training and provide counseling for sexual trauma, so they can then earn money on their terms. We learn that the longest-lasting changes come from building real relationships with people, and for many, the story is not over. Some sex slaves still feel the pressure to return to that form of income, but the centers remain, ready to welcome them back at any time.   As one transgender former sex worker tells us animatedly, “We cannot [just tell them], ‘YOU CANNOT WORK IN THE BAR!’ We just say, ‘God loves you,’ because they need money for their family.” — Susan Manly Cooke, Red Rock Film Festival


Directed by Christina Zorich

Written by Laura Spaeth
Andrea Valetine

Produced by Olympia Dukakis
Christina Zorich

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