We thank all who attended the Tugg presentation of the film Sold. We sold 164 tickets! This was a fundraiser for New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking. The movie itself has a partnership with Taught Not Trafficked which reaches out to rural Nepalese communities to heighten prevention against human trafficking and grant education to girls.
Before the movie began, Justice Network’s co-founder Susan gave an introduction in case people were not familiar with human trafficking.
Donna, one of our team leaders then spoke about New Light Nepal and the Mothers Against Trafficking group that they also run. Both of these organizations are located in Nepal, in which the main character in the film Sold had been from at the beginning of the story. Donna continued to share about the hardships those who run New Light Nepal have been facing. They recently had a wall from right outside of the school slide into the school, causing part of its wall to collapse in on the children, killing two and injuring three.
The film was based off of Patricia McCormick’s book Sold. The movie was not exactly like the book, but if you read it, you will still most likely love this movie. There were added characters and some slight changes done, but for the most part it was on par! We highly recommend you read the book in general! It is short and can easily be read within a few hours.
The main character is a pre-teen girl named Lakshmi who shares the name with a Hindu goddess of luck, prosperity, and beauty. She lives in the beautiful mountains of Nepal where her father, having a handicap, tries to work his best on their farm alongside of her mother. When heavy rains come and their crops are ruined, Lakshmi is sold to a woman who will give her a good job as a maid in India. She instead is sold to become a sex slave at a brothel.
This movie shows the hardships of slavery and of young women trying to live daily, seeking what little happiness is possible in between much abuse. It was a beautiful film and story with much depth to it to take away from.
While the subject matter is sex trafficking, with men taking advantage of a young girl, this film does not show anything graphic other than making some noises and showing a rocking motion of men and either them getting ready to abuse a girl (by taking off a belt and beginning to unbuckle their pants) or leaving after the abuse (by putting money out or getting pants back on). There is no nudity, but one woman’s back is shown as someone is washing her and the under area curve of a breast as it is pushed against her leg from looking at her back.
After the film was complete, there was a panel of Kate Lee and Katie from NJCAHT, and Susan from Justice Network who were answering questions of those who attended the movie.
Some of the questions that were asked were:
What does human trafficking in New Jersey look like (in comparison to the movie)?
Kate Lee answered, “It looks like the movie Sold. Online trafficking is the top way to get girls currently, which is terrible because they get younger and younger. Also, girls get picked up at the mall. The girl with the low self esteem who doesn’t think she is pretty is the most vulnerable. Also, we give posters of trafficked kids to hotels and motels, which helps greatly, and kids were found that way at a hotel in Atlantic city. Also, Hair braiding trafficking in NJ is very big. The national HT Hotline number is 888-3737-888. Police will have to make a case against the traffickers, but they can still save them. Unfortunately, trafficking is all about the money.”
One commented, “I blame the parents for this problem.”
Kate Lee said, “Unfortunately Parents do fail. Kids are vulnerable.”
Susan said, “It is Part of their culture.”
Katie said, “We need to work on education, have the administration behind us so mayors can be equipped to deal with this.”
What are the NJ human trafficking laws?
Susan said, “The victim is treated as a victim, not as a criminal as under the previous law.”
“What are the efforts being made to educate the poor parents in Nepal like those in the movie?”
Susan said, “There are organizations that involve educating people, such as New Light Nepal, Mothers Against Trafficking, and Talk Not Traffick. Bhuvan of New Light Nepal takes a bike around to spread the message to people.”