A few days ago, a fellow tyrant and I had the privilege of seeing the new movie call and response. Now I know what you're thinking - there aren't any robots, or aliens, or people with mutant powers in that movie - but as bill gates has taught us, there's nothing more geeky than philanthropy.Justin Dillon, a musician with the band Tremelo, was on tour in Russia. He met lots of young women who wanted to move to the US. His interpreter was one of those women. When things didn't sound copasetic, he began to look into things. It turns out that she was going to be sold once she got to the US. This disturbed Justin and he began to research the issue of human trafficking. What he discovered was that right now, there are an estimated 150 million slaves. These aren't people who get paid very little or have cruel working conditions. These are people who are forced with threat of violence to work, never receiving a penny. About 80% of them are women about half of them are children.
Justin didn't know what to do. He knew he had to do something. So he decided to do what he knew best - music. he got a whole bunch of artists to perform songs. This builds the backdrop for the movie.
Throughout the film, interviews with Cornell West, Julia Ormond, Nicholas Kristof, and Madeline Albright to name a few, are interwoven with powerful musical numbers from the likes of Cold War Kids, Imogen Heap, Rocco Deluca, and Matisyahu. The most powerful moments, however, come when we are put face to face with the slaves themselves and allowed to see their real suffering.
I know that for me, there was nothing more moving than seeing young (and i'm talkin 7, 8 years old tops) girls offer to do...things...for their so-called clients, or a young asian woman break down because she won't see her family again, she's too ashamed.
This movie takes you on an emotional journey. you begin by being introduced to just how vast and prevalent slavery really is, and just when you think that all is lost and everything is hopeless, it does what I haven't found in the documentaries I've seen on the subject before do - it gives you hope. The interviewees talk about real things we can do right now to help these people. You leave the theater wanting to do something to make a difference.
I urge everyone who reads this to take just a minute and visit www.callandresponse.com. there you will see 33 ways to respond to the call to end slavery. You can also see if this wonderful, moving film is playing near you soon. This is a non-profit movie meaning that all the profits go to charities that support the abolitionist movement so just going to see the movie is helping, even if you do nothing else.
I hope you go see the movie, I really do. You won't be sorry I promise.