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*WINNER: Best overall at the 2017 Tryon International Film Festival*
Human trafficking is a billion-dollar industry, enslaving women, children, and men in the United States and across the world, according to figures from the US Department of Homeland Security. This criminal industry is second only to drug trafficking in terms of profitability. Human trafficking also remains mostly hidden from public view. Victims rarely come forward due to fear of their captors or law enforcement, language barriers, and drug addiction—a tool human traffickers use to control victims.
“BOUND” offers a look at how one real-life human trafficking victim was punished when she attempted to escape from her captors. She was forced to listen to a phone call as henchmen tortured and murdered her family in their home hundreds of miles away. The phone call was captured on wiretap recordings by DEA agents working to bring down the human trafficking ring.
Imagine being forced to take drugs and forced into sexual acts while being both physically and psychologically punished if you refuse. Imagine having a bag pulled over your head in the middle of the night and being shuttled to one of three different brothels, never knowing where you are or how long you will be there. This was the reality that the real-life inspiration for the film’s protagonist endured.