Monday, December 23, 2013

‘Rape for Profit’ (Film Review + Giveaway)

Rape for Profit is the latest documentary film exposing the realities of one of the most gruesome crimes, sexual oppression. Produced and hosted by Jason Pamer and released by Mew Films, it might have a disturbing title, but anything more tasteful wouldn’t necessarily get the main point across as quickly. Prostitution isn’t about free agents making choices. It’s about women and girls living in slavery right under our noses.

The sad thing is that most people – most Christians, in fact – would prefer to pretend the problem doesn’t exist. Or worse, they even blame the victims, insisting on penalizing the prostitutes without ever addressing the real problem. As Rape for Profit shows, it’s the slave trader parents, guardians, and boyfriends, the slave master “pimps,” and the patronizing “johns” who are real the problem. It’s the pastors, police officers, lawyers, and judges, who purchase these illegal “services” rather than use all of their influence and power to stop it, that are the real problem. Women and girls, often sexually abused by their families and burdened with low self-esteem, easily find themselves sweet talked and coerced by those who seek to profit from selling their bodies. They are kept under psychological lock and key, believing the all-to-common truth that no one cares about their plight. In most cases, they have no safe place to go and know no one they can trust. So they are left to cope with the day-to-day job of sleeping with men they find disgusting and staying on the good side of an angry pimp.

This is a touchy subject. I really admire the makers of Rape for Profit for trying to get the word out, exposing sex trafficking and prostitution in the Seattle area. More than some similar films, it tries to focus on the customers, who I agree are the biggest problem. Any amount of crackdown on the suppliers will just drive up the prices rather than eliminating demand.

Rape For Profit Theatrical Trailer from mew films on Vimeo.

Where was the film lacking? I didn’t agree with everything presented in Rape for Profit, but one thing in particular bothered me a lot. There was a noticeable lack of a female presence in the crackdown portions of the films. There were no female officers, detectives, or film crew to be seen. Maybe that couldn’t be helped, but at the very least, I think I would’ve preferred a team doing the interviews: a man for the pimps and johns, and a woman for the prostitutes. It was bothersome hearing men, strangers to the victims, even with good intent, telling the girls that they were precious, that they loved them, that they would protect them, etc. Those sorts of appeals to the emotions of girls starved for love are what pimps are notorious for. Again, I think the filmmaker had honorable intentions, but that was a big mistake in my view.

With that caveat, I wholeheartedly recommend Rape for Profit. If you’re interested, it’s now available online for a fee through iTunes and Vimeo. Because of language and subject matter, I wouldn’t recommend it for children. As a Kickstarter supporter, I received a perk including ten DVDs. It might seem like an unusual giveaway, but I’d like to help get the word out about this the sexual oppression of women by offering five of them (plus shipping) to adults living in the United States. Please participate in the Rafflecopter contest below to win. Note: This contest is not sponsored by Mew Films or its affiliates.

a Rafflecopter giveaway