Saturday, October 30, 2010

I Am Slave

Long periods of dark despair and frantic moments of hope are brilliantly portrayed through excellent cinematography in this stirring British film. Based on the real-life experiences of a young Sudanese woman named Mende Nazer, I Am Slave tells the story of Malia, a young girl who is kidnapped from her home in the Nubar mountains of Sudan and comes to be the domestic slave of an Arab family in London.

The film opens with a flashback: Malia is twelve years old, a princess in her tribe, watching her father win a wrestling match. Flashbacks throughout the film show Malia's father telling her bedtime stories, her village being attacked, and Malia's sudden shift from a tribal princess to a domestic slave in Khartoum.

With skillful cinematography and sparse dialogue, the film portrays Malia's pain and fear as she is locked in her room for days at a time and threatened with the murder of her family in Sudan should she try to run. As real-life Mende finally found the courage to escape her masters, so Malia finally discovers the strength to leave.

Despite the film's suggestion of a happy ending, closing captions reveal that more than 5,000 young women are believed to be held as domestic slaves in London today, and that some 200,000 people are believed to have been enslaved in Sudan.

The film's producers have not only created an emotional and moving film, but are also attempting to bring to light one of the most savage problems in the world today: the continuing enslavement of human beings.

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