Twenty years ago, a film was released that followed the story of a prostitute on the streets of Los Angeles. You might have heard of it: Pretty Woman.
The movie, which brought Julia Roberts in a mini-skirt and mega-watt smile to the American public, was a giant success.
But it's hard to believe that a blockbuster romantic comedy about sex workers would be released today. Sex trafficking is a real business that's alive and well, including right here in the U.S. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, an estimated 293,000 American minors are at risk of commercial sexual exploitation. It's an ugly business and it often goes unseen.
But there's an effort to change the Hollywood prostitute, rags-to-riches love story. This weekend, the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge is hosting a film series titled "Human Rights and Sex Trafficking: A Film Forum." The series, which runs until Sunday, comprises 12 documentaries that span the globe, but that hold in common the central theme of sex trafficking and the suffering it causes.
- Kate Nace Day, professor, Suffolk University Law school; co-organizer of Human Rights and Sex Trafficking: A Film Forum
- Gayle Ferraro, founder, Aerial Production; author, "Anonymously Yours"
This segment aired on December 3, 2010.