The first scene of the movie “The Chosen Ones” directed by David Pablos shows Ulises and Sofía, a young teenage couple, kissing. Don’t be fooled, however: this is not a love story. As the story progresses, we learn Ulises has been pushed by his family to lure young, beautiful women into the prostitution ring the family owns. Despite falling in love with Sofia, Ulises is unable to set her free unless he finds another girl to fill her spot. It is a vicious circle that won’t stop.
Pablos’ film is both aesthetically beautiful and harrowingly gut-wrenching. The whole story wakes a feeling of anger and indignation within the viewers. The movie denounces a serious and dark problem: underage sex trafficking. Yet, it does so in such a way that it never falls into vulgarity in order to keep the viewer engaged with the story. The acting, the cinematography and sound design work together to give the viewer a personal, intimate experience.
While “The Chosen Ones” is a fictional story, the issue it depicts is not. In Mexico alone, human trafficking is a major problem that affects many women and girls all over the country. In 2015, the Trafficking in Persons Report written by the US Department of State declared that Mexico “is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking”. Human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal industry in Mexico. Three-quarters of its victims are women and girls who are being sexually exploited, according to Women United Against Trafficking.
As depicted in the movie, many victims are young and impoverished women who are lured into these prostitution rings when they fall for traffickers who pose as their boyfriends. If a woman are also a mother, traffickers will likely hold her children hostage to force her to continue working and earning her daily/weekly quota. This is a dark and horrifying reality.
Despite continuous efforts from the government, the issue persists. Due to the large flow of money this criminal industry produces, traffickers and other people involved can pay bribes and extort authorities. By doing so, they can continue their crimes without major issues. Movies, such as the one created by David Pablos, can help expose the issue for what it is and hopefully encourage more conversations about it among the general public.