If you happen to live in New York City, skip The Bachelorette tonight and go see something real: a documentary about young girls who are being sold into sexual slavery in Southeast Asia. We're talking girls as young as five-years-old.
The film Redlight, which premieres tonight in Chelsea, takes you directly into the brothels of Cambodia, where girls are forced to have sex with dozens of men each day. Director Guy Jacobson risked his life to tell the stories of victims and survivors — one of whom I profiled in our October issue. That young woman, Sreypov Chan, was sold into sexual slavery at age seven, by her own mother. For years, Sreypov's owners forced her to have sex with as many as 20 men a day. If she didn't meet her quota, she faced unthinkable punishments — she would be burned, whipped, covered with biting insects, and worse. "I wanted to die," she told me. Yet Sreypov is among the lucky ones. After trying three times to escape, she eventually succeeded. Today, at age 20, she is doing something extraordinary: She's going back into the brothels to rescue other children from the fate she suffered.
Sreypov's brave choice to speak out puts a human face on human trafficking — a $32 billion global business, according to State Department figures, but one that exists in the shadows. Come see Redlight tonight to learn more and get involved. There's a 6:00 p.m. and a 9:00 p.m. screening at SVA Theater, 333 West 23rd Street. Purchase tickets here.
Director Guy Jacobson has devoted his life to getting the word out about the buying and selling of girls. Once a high-flying lawyer and investment banker in New York City, his life changed course a few years ago when he traveled to Cambodia for vacation and was solicited by a little girl, who invited him to a brothel. He was so appalled, he left the corporate world and launched Priority Films to spread the word. Visit priorityfilms.com for more on his activism and films.