Sex Traffic. I wondered about the name. Was it just going to be like Traffic (the film) based on Traffik the TV series but about sex? Answer. Pretty much. A nicely rounded look at the sex traffic industry from the viewpoint of the girls, those running it and a charity fella. And the boss of a private security firm.
The first two of these characters have an obvious role in Sex Traffic. The charity worker is more the crusading everyman, especially when you consider he is being played by John Simm (your cast iron guarantee of a good TV drama). But it appears that the big baddie of the piece as constructed at the moment is going to be the private security firm, the contractors in law enforcement in Bosnia. I am in two minds whether this is a good idea or not. Certainly the traffic in woman as sex objects, the white slavery this becomes, is driven by money – and therefore the West. Equally there are massive problems with contractors policing nations, we saw it in Iraq. But are these necessarily the same problem?
Sex Traffic is not a documentary, it makes pains to say that at the end. But it is one of the few programmes which is dealing with this issue. There are very few programmes deal with the more thorny private security one (possibly because that issue is a lot less clean cut). Luckily around the swirling conspiracies that writer Abi Morgan has constructed it is always clear who the victims are. The two Albanian sisters being buffeted along are shown as naive, and then destroyed. It is clear that for all the abuse their bodies take, it is the very status of being owned that causes the worst of their reactions. The betrayal of suddenly becoming a chattel.
All of that said, it is a rollicking good storyline as well, part one ending on a compelling cliffhanger and its got me for the concluding part this week. Yet another reason why I should watch more television. I am not sure if I have seen a film this good this year…