Films: The Price of Sex

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The Price of Sex

The Price of Sex

USA, 2011, 73 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Documentary, Social Issues, Womens Issues
Programs: Documentary Films, Women + Film
Language: English, Russian English Subtitles

DIRECTOR: Mimi Chakarova
Producer: Mimi Chakarova
Editor: Stephanie Challberg
Screenwriter: Mimi Chakarova
Principal Cast: 

In this riveting and groundbreaking documentary, Bulgarian-born photojournalist Mimi Chakarova exposes the trafficking of Eastern European women after the fall of Communism. The crippling economic instability that followed the 1989 liberation of Eastern Bloc countries like Moldova and Bulgaria created extreme poverty and desperation, making hundreds of thousands of young women easy targets for the international sex trade. While these women believe they are being offered jobs abroad as domestic servants, in reality they are being forced into prostitution. Trafficked to metropolises in Turkey, Greece, and Dubai, they endure the harrowing experiences of an underground network that reaches far beyond their impoverished rural hometowns; if and when they escape and return home, they face the physical and psychological repercussions of their enslavement, as well as social stigmatization.

Chakarova spent nearly a decade recording the experiences of women who disappeared into this seedy netherworld, creating segments for PBS and Frontline that earned her an Emmy nomination. The Price of Sex is the culmination of her risky undercover work. Through compelling images and interviews with trafficked women, pimps, and clients, she exposes the horrific, yet thriving, world of the international sex trade. Revisiting her own hometown, the filmmaker sees that she may have fallen into a similar trap had her family not fled to the United States in 1990: We came from the same place. We breathed the same air; we were surrounded by the same conditions.
—REBECCA CARO

Sponsored by Barbara Bridges, Caz Matthews


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