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Oscar Contenders Remind Us Of Slavery and Segregation / Still 30 Mill. Slaves Today

12 Years a Slave


DALKEITH – 12 YEARS A SLAVE recounts how in the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery in the 1800s. 

12 YEARS A SLAVE's theme is reflected in this day, as the first ever Global Slavery Index published by the Walk Free Foundation reveals that there are over 30 million slaves in the world. The relatively worst countries to this effect are Mauritania, Haiti, Pakistan, India, Nepal; while in absolute terms the top-5 en-slaver are India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria and Ethiopia, with India leading the pack with a figure of 14 million slaves.Although relatively slave-free, Western countries also exhibit surprisingly high numbers of slaves in absolute numbers. 

The index for each country was produced based on three factors: estimated prevalence of modern slavery by population, a measure of child marriage and a measure of human trafficking in and out of country. Modern slavery takes on many inconspicuous forms, such as forced labor, forced begging, sexual servitude as well as bonded labor through debt bondage.
The index for each country was produced based on three factors: estimated prevalence of modern slavery by population, a measure of child marriage and a measure of human trafficking in and out of country. Modern slavery takes on many inconspicuous forms, such as forced labor, forced begging, sexual servitude as well as bonded labor through debt bondage.

Another form of forced labor takes place in many large-scale construction projects around the world: reports of guest workers that have their ID cards taken away on arrival in order to extort them and force them into working in dangerous conditions without pay have come for instance from Dubai, which has seen rapid urban development, as well as Qatar, which is currently preparing for the soccer World Cup with numerous building projects. Similarly in Sochi, the site for the 2014 Winter Olympics, claims of using guest workers as slaves have been reported. Shouldn't international sports organizations that drive these massive efforts demand more human rights? 

Modern-day slavery is not just limited to developing countries. Whereas in Germany or the US the relative rate of slavery is very low, absolute figures still show that there are at least 10 000 slaves in Germany and 60 000 in the US. Most probably a great number of these are victims of human trafficking turned to sex slaves.

Cinema for Peace has supported documentaries on this topic, and we have also welcomed socially-conscious members of the main cast of 12 YEARS A SLAVE. Lead character Chiwetel Ejiofor took part in Cinema for Peace Los Angeles 2013, Brad Pitt  in Berlin in 2012, Lupita Nyong'o won her first international award  at Cinema for Peace Berlin 2010 and Michael Fassbender met with Cinema for Peace Founder Jaka Bizilj in Berlin.

Please see especially these recent films that reflect the effects of slavery and segregation:

42 - The Story of Jackie Robinson


42 tells the story of two men – the great Jackie Robinson and legendary Brooklyn Dodgers GM Branch Rickey – whose brave stand against prejudice forever changed the world by changing the game of baseball. In 1946, Branch Rickey put himself at the forefront of history when he signed with Jackie Robinson the first colored player  to the team, breaking Major League Baseball's infamous color line. But the deal also put both Robinson and Rickey in the firing line of the public, the press and even other players. Facing unabashed racism from every side, Robinson was forced to demonstrate tremendous courage and restraint by not reacting in kind. Instead, Number 42 let his talent on the field do the talking – ultimately winning over fans and his teammates, silencing his critics, and paving the way for others to follow. See trailer here

Fruitvale Station


FRUITVALE STATION tells the story of Oscar, who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions for his mother, wife and daughter. His resolve takes a tragic turn, however, when BART officers shoot him in cold blood at the Fruitvale subway stop on New Year's Day. Oscar's life and tragic death would shake the Bay Area - and the entire nation - to its very core. See trailer here

The Butler


THE BUTLER tells the story of a White House butler who served eight American presidents over three decades. The film traces the dramatic changes that swept American society during this time, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man's life and family. See trailer here


Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom


MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM
is a depiction of Nelson Mandela's life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa. It is based on South African President Nelson Mandela's autobiography of the same name, which chronicle his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison before becoming President and working to rebuild the country's once segregated society. See trailer here



We invite you to watch also the following trailers on the topic of global slavery, child labor and sex slavery:

  • AT THE END OF SLAVERY: THE BATTLE FOR JUSTICE IN OUR TIME by Ted Haddock takes you inside the violent and ugly business of modern-day slavery — the buying and selling of human beings — from the brothels of the Philippines to the brick kilns of India.
  • THE DARK SIDE OF CHOCOLATE by Miki Mistrati shows how a team of journalists investigate how human trafficking and child labor in the Ivory Coast fuels the worldwide chocolate industry.
  • STOLEN CHILDHOODS by Len Morris and Roberto Romano is the first feature documentary on global child labor ever produced. The film features stories of child laborers around the world, told in their own words. Children are shown working in dumps, quarries, brick kilns.
  • SEX SLAVES by Ric Esther Bienstock  and Franca Cerretti is a documentary exposé inside the global sex slave trade in women from the former Soviet Bloc.
  • DUBAI – A CITY OF DREAMS by Robert Tutak is a feature documentary on labor exploitation and human rights abuses in Dubai, UAE.
  • SLAVERY - A GLOBAL INVESTIGATION by Brian Woods & Kate Blewett document the terrible exploitation of modern-day slaves.
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