Covering children suffering from malnutrition in Africa and begging on the streets of Mumbai to Nepalese girl entrapped in a vicious cycle of prostitution, “Not My Life” keeps its viewers engaged till the end.
Screened by United Nations office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the documentary depicting cruel practices of human trafficking and modern slavery comes from Academy award nominated director, Robert Bilheimer. Filmed across five continents, it takes viewers into a world where millions of children are exploited everyday, for real.
A statement narrating the director was also issued by the UN agency which says human traffickers earns billions of dollars on the backs and in the beds of our children. “Yet, no one knows of it. We a right to learn the truth and a huge responsibility to do something about it,” it further says.
With victims sharing their experiences while tears roll down their cheeks, it is hard to neglect the bitter truth that prevails globally.
Answering Pakistani audience’s question via video link, Bilheimer expressed his will to cover as many similar stories in the country as possible.
“Be it victims from Pakistan, where I intend to come at some point, or elsewhere; we will try to include their stories and present them to the world,” he said.
The film is to be translated in different languages to cater to audience at varying international platforms.
“I am leaving with a heavy heart and great insight to the issue. Very well researched and shot beautifully” said Sara Akbar in the audience.
In his statement, Country Director of UNODC Cesar Guedes said the ongoing armed conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq along with the counties’ struggling economies provide a conductive environment for traffickers.
“This documentary provides vital information to Pakistani audience who are engrossed in daily challenges of their own,” he said.
While the moving film ends on a positive note, its official website notmylife.org is, according to the director, “the hub of the reel” and even provides material not used in the final film.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2013.