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Synopsis: Filmmaker Christina Zorich takes off on a journey into Southeast Asia, an area widely considered to be the “most trafficked” region of the globe. She searches for answers: why and how human sex trafficking flourishes. She follows four Christian Ministries, that are also non-government organizations (NGOs), eager to educate and inform herself and her audience on the complexities of all the issues surrounding and generating human sex trafficking. The ultimate goal is finding the answers to ending this burgeoning criminal industry. She encounters obstacles—including the need for her first NGO to demand anonymity. Subsequent to the conclusion of filming in 2016, threats become public from Cambodian government officials to revoke the visas of NGOs for revealing the intricacies and dark truths of this criminal industry. Our story begins with our first NGO on what’s called a “soft rescue” of a young woman from a karaoke establishment that profits from the exchange of young women into the hands of visiting sex tourists. She observes how the NGO runs their aftercare facilities, providing trauma therapy necessary to restore young girls back to some baseline health and well-being. Her next NGO, Extreme Love Ministries, takes us on a missions trip through Cambodia to trafficking hotspots with ministry worker Andrea Aasen. Andrea delineates why each area is rife with trafficking. We begin to explore prevention, causes and conditions that create a breeding ground for at risk people groups. We realize the history of this area—the Khmer Rouge, battles in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s between Democracy and Communism that have destabilized the region—are all contributing aspects of why Cambodia in particular is desperate and in need of rebuilding. The people of Cambodia have been left extremely vulnerable to the trafficking industry. Christina moves on to Bangkok, Thailand: the home of the next NGO—Nightlight International. Annie Dieselberg (founder) expands on the origins and development of her NGO and how Bangkok has changed and emerged into an international hub for human sex trafficking. Christina and her cameraman continue shooting guerrilla style through the streets of Bangkok, giving a face to child labour and the underage prostitution that boldly presents itself in different red-light districts of the city. They follow Annie and her small team through their pre and post outreach meetings—illuminating the landscape of this crisis. Finally, we move on to the “undeclared sex tourism capital of the world:” Pattaya, Thailand. We meet Tamar Center’s Daniel Vaupel and Maew as they share the personal journey that lead them to dedicating their lives to the rescue, rehabilitation and prevention at Tamar Center. We wrap up with a call-to-action. Christina finds clarity, answers, and solutions (large and small) for the audience. Our final destination is The Sanctuary of Truth, located in Pattaya, Thailand. The landmark serves as encouragement and a metaphor to the audience.
I have been on an Odyssean journey since I first became aware of the existence of human sex trafficking in 2012.
The New Abolitionists came into being, slowly. I studied, investigated, and learned from activist missionaries who were giving everything to see an end.
With this film, I set out to not only expose the causations of trafficking but to reveal practical solutions. My hope is that following these brave abolitionists and their organizations will inspire others to join the fight in whatever way they can—small or large.
For the past 35 years, Christina has worked as a professional actor, acting teacher, director and producer. She has trained, taught and performed in respected theaters and training institutions on the East and West Coast; producing music videos, a web series and plays.
After Christina became aware of human sex trafficking, she began a five year journey making her first documentary feature: The New Abolitionists.