Human Trafficking (TV miniseries)

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Human Trafficking
Human Trafficking.jpg
Original release U.S. DVD cover art
Genre Drama
Directed by Christian Duguay
Written by Carol Doyle
Agatha Dominik
Starring Mira Sorvino
Donald Sutherland
Robert Carlyle
Remy Girard
Music by Normand Corbiel
Editing by Gaetan Hout
Sylvain Lebel
Country Canada
Language English
Original channel Lifetime Television
Original run October 24  – October 25, 2005 (2005-10-25)
Running time 176 minutes

Human Trafficking is a television miniseries about an American Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent going undercover to stop an organization from trafficking people, and shows the struggles of three trafficked women. It premiered in the United States on Lifetime Television on October 24 and 25, 2005 and was broadcast in Canada on Citytv on January 2 and 3, 2006. It stars Mira Sorvino, Donald Sutherland, Rémy Girard, and Robert Carlyle.


In Prague, Czech Republic, single mother Helena (Isabelle Blais) is seduced by a successful handsome man and travels with him to spend a weekend in Vienna, Austria. He then sells her to Human Traffickers and she is brought to New York to work as a sex slave. In Kiev, Ukraine, sixteen-year-old Nadia (Laurence Leboeuf) has recently finished school and, without her father's prior consent or knowledge, she enters a modelling competition. She is selected by the bogus model agency to travel to New York with the other selected candidates, here she is forced into a life of sexual slavery. In Manila, Philippines, twelve-year-old American tourist Annie Gray (Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse) is abducted in front of her parents in a busy street by sex traffickers. She is forced into a child brothel which primarily services sex tourists. In common, the girls become victims of a powerful international network of sex traffickers lead by the powerful Sergei Karpovich (Robert Carlyle).

In New York, after the third death of young Eastern European prostitutes, obstinate Russian-American NYPD agent Kate Morozov (Mira Sorvino) convinces the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Chief Bill Meehan (Donald Sutherland) to hire her, promising him that she would fight against this type of crime and that he would not regret it.



The miniseries was produced by Muse Entertainment Enterprises for broadcast on Lifetime Television. In April 2005 Muse announced that principal photography had begun and that a Canadian broadcaster would be announced shortly.[1] The miniseries was filmed in Montreal, Bangkok, and Prague and was completed in July 2005.[2]


Human Trafficking received generally mixed to positive reviews by critics. Alessandra Stanley of the New York Times noted that Human Traficking "avoids the seedy sensationalism that cheapens so many television depictions of the crime" and that it is "a harsh public-service message built into a clever, suspenseful thriller."[3]

Tom Shales of The Washington Post was more negative as he found the miniseries an odd subject for Lifetime to broadcast. He noted that in attempting to, "expose a worldwide scandal" Human Trafficking, "happens to expose vast amounts of flesh in the process -- exploitation about exploitation."[4]

John Doyle of The Globe and Mail was also negative towards the miniseries. He compared it to the "searing, shocking and hard to watch" CBC/Channel 4 miniseries Sex Traffic which "suggested a direct connection between the sex trade and NATO officials, and with Western corporations based in Eastern Europe. Doyle concluded that "While Human Trafficking is an international co-production with an international cast, it feels obstinately constructed to satisfy small-minded American viewers.


On October 25, 2005, Maple Pictures released a 2 disc DVD set of the mini-series in Canada, which contained interviews with the director and the five principal cast members on the second disc.[5] Echo Bridge Home Entertainment released the miniseries on a single DVD in the U.S. on May 2, 2006 with deleted scenes not shown during the airing on Lifetime, interactive resources, and scene selections.[6] The Canadian DVD is rated 14A; the U.S. release is labeled Not Rated by the MPAA due to enhanced violence of the deleted scenes.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Golden Globes[edit]

  • Best Actress In A TV Movie or Mini-Series: Mira Sorvino (Nominated)
  • Best Actor In A TV Movie or Mini-Series: Donald Sutherland (Nominated)

Emmy Awards[edit]

Human Trafficking was nominated for three Emmy Awards, one in Creative Arts for Best Music and two for Primetime

  • Best Actor In A TV Mini-Series: Donald Sutherland
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Mini-Series: Robert Carlyle.

Gemini Awards[edit]

Human Trafficking also won 3 Gemini Awards:

  • Best Dramatic Mini-Series (Michael Prupas, Christian Duguay, Irene Litinsky)
  • Best Costume Design (Marianne Carter)
  • Best Production Design or Art Direction in a Dramatic Program or Series (Guy Lalande)

It was nominated for 2 other Gemini Awards:

  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series (Isabelle Blais)
  • Best Sound in a Dramatic Program (Michel B. Bordeleau, Natalie Fleurant, Louis Gignac, Hans Peter Strobl)


  1. ^ "Muse Entertainment Enterprises Announces the Start of Principal Photography of HUMAN TRAFFICKING" (Press release). Muse Entertainment Enterprises. April 22, 2005. Retrieved January 16, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Productions: Human Trafficking". Muse Entertainment Enterprises. Retrieved January 16, 2011. 
  3. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (October 24, 2005). "Selling Sex, That Renewable Resource". The New York Times (registration required). Retrieved January 16, 2011. 
  4. ^ Shales, Tom (October 24, 2005). "'Human Trafficking': Exploiting Misery, And Creating It". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 16, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Human Trafficking". Retrieved January 16, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Human Trafficking (2005)". Retrieved January 16, 2011. 

External links[edit]