MetroFocus

TARGET: SEX TRAFFICKING & PROSTITUTION

Transcript

GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO
"METROFOCUS."
I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN.
BLOWN UP IS A FASCINATING
DOCUMENTARY WHICH PROFILES THE
WOMEN WHO RUN AND COME BEFORE
THE QUEENS HUMAN TRAFFICKING
INTERVENTION COURT.
THE FIRST PROBLEM SOLVING COURT
IN THE COUNTRY ATTEMPTING TO
REDRESS THE WAY WOMEN AND YOUNG
GIRLS DID ARRESTED FOR
PROSTITUTION ARE SHUFFLED
THROUGH OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM.
WITH UNPARALLELED ACCESS TO THE
COURT, THE FILM CAP CAPTURES
WHAT IT IS LIKE FOR THESE
DEFENDANTS OVERWHELMING
UNDOCUMENTED ASIAN IMMIGRANTS
AND WOMEN OF COLOR TO GO THROUGH
THE COMPLEX CRIMINAL
PROCEEDINGS.
HERE'S A LOOK.
>> THIS CHARGE IS A DEPORTABLE
OFF
OFFENSE.
>> SHE WAS IN CRISIS AND HE JUST
LIKE SWOOPED IN.
HE SLEEPS WITH HER PASSPORT
WITH, HER I.D., HER SOCIAL
SECURITY CARD.
>> I CAN'T SAY THE THAT EVERY
WOMAN WHO COMES THROUGH THE
COURT IS GOING TO GET THE EXACT
HELP THEY NEED.
>> I HAVE A BOYFRIEND.
>> WAIT, WHAT?
>> WE ARE GOING TO GRANT AN
EARLY --
>> YEA.
>> CALLED BLOWING UP WHEN YOU
LEAVE A PIMP.
I BLEW UP AND I WENT HOME.
>> AND JOINING US NOW IS
DIRECTOR OF BLOWNUP.
WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.
>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME
RAFAEL.
>> RIGHT FROM THE START, YOU
TAKE US INTO THE MIDDLE OF THIS
QUEENS COURT WITHOUT NARRATION,
WITHOUT EXPLANATION AND WE'RE
THERE WITH PEOPLE THAT WE DON'T
KNOW WHO THEY ARE.
I WAS WONDERING IF THAT WAS
INTENTIONAL, IF YOU WANTED TO
GET TO US FEEL A LITTLE BIT OF
WHAT THE WOMEN DEFENDANTS WHO
ARE ABOUT TO FACE THE COURT ARE
FEELING.
>> YEAH, YOU KNOW, WHEN I FIRST
EXPERIENCED THIS COURTROOM THE
FIRST TIME THAT I OBSERVED IT AT
WORK, I ALSO FELT THAT WAY AND I
WAS JUST KNOW, TRYING TO FIGURE
OUT WHAT ARE DO THESE TERMS MEAN
WHO, ARE THESE PEOPLE, WHO IS
DOING WHAT, WHO IS A DEFENDANT.
SO IT IS A PLACE THAT IS A
BUREAUCRATIC PLACE THAT IS VERY
CONFUSING.
SO I WANT ODD GIVE VIEWERS AND
AUDIENCES A FEELING OF WHAT THAT
MUST FEEL LIKE TO COME INTO A
PLACE LIKE THIS.
>> I EXPECTED THE STEREOTYPES,
THE JADED JUDGE, THE JADED
PROSECUTOR, THE OVERWORKED
PUBLIC DEFENDANT TRYING TO COP A
PLEA.
INSTEAD, YOU FIND A JUDGE AND
PROSECUTOR TREATING THE
DEFENDANTS AS HUMAN BEINGS IN
DISTRESS RATHER THAN CRIMINALS.
YOU SEE THE LAWYERS AND SOCIAL
COUNSELORS TREATING THEM LIKE
FAMILY.
WHAT KIND OF COURT IS THIS?
>> IT'S A PROBLEM SOLVING COURT,
THE FIRST COURT OF ITS KIND IN
OUR NATION TRYING TO CHANGE THE
WAY WOMEN WHO ARE ARRESTED FOR
PROSTITUTION ARE PROSECUTED.
AND I WAS ATTRACTED, AS WELL TO
THIS SPACE BECAUSE OF THE DEEP
HUMANITY AT THE CORE OF THIS
INSTITUTION.
YOU KNOW, WE ALL HAVE
INSTITUTIONS SURROUNDING US IN
EVERY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM IN OUR
LIVES.
I THINK AT THE CORE OF THESE
THERE ARE PEOPLE RUNNING THEM
AND IF PEOPLE ARE REALLY GOOD
AND TRYING TO CHANGE THE WAY
THAT THESE INSTITUTIONS ARE RUN,
IT'S A WHOLE DIFFERENT KIND OF
PLACE.
>> HAD YOU DID YOU GET THE
ACCESS TO THE COURT AND TO THE
PEOPLE WHO YOU WOULD ASSUME
WOULD NOT WANT TO BE FLIPPED?
>> SO MAKING A FILM LIKE THIS AS
YOU CAN IMAGINE, IS VERY
CHALLENGING.
>> YEAH.
>> NO ONE WANTED TO BE IN THE
FILM.
NO ONE WANTED TO PARTICIPATE IN
THE FILM.
SO IT TOOK US ABOUT TEN MONTHS
OF OBSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT
AND RESEARCH AND BUILDING
RELATIONSHIPS WITH EVERYONE IN
THE COURT BEFORE WE WERE EVEN
ALLOWED TO BRING CAMERAS INTO
THE SPACE.
AND THEN ONCE CAMERAS WERE
BROUGHT IN, IT WASN'T LIKE WE
WERE GIVEN CARTE BLANCHE TO FILM
EVERYTHING WE WANTED TO.
EVERY MORNING, I WOULD MAKE AN
ANNOUNCEMENT IN ENGLISH AND
MANDARIN LETTING THEM NODE WHAT
WE WERE DOING HERE AND THEY HAD
A CHOICE WHETHER OR NOT THEY
WANTED TO PARTICIPATE.
AND MOST PEOPLE SAID NO.
SO FOR US, A GOOD DAY OUT OF 90
CASES WAS ONE OR TWO WOMEN
SAYING YES.
WE'RE DEALING WITH A SUBJECT
MATTER THAT HAS BEEN EXTREMELY
STEREOTYPED AND MISREPRESENTED
IN THE MEDIA.
THEY ARE WORDS THAT ARE THROWN
ON THESE WOMEN AND THEY R
SQUARED AND FEARFUL OF THE
REPERCUSSIONS OF THESE WORDS.
>> ALL THESE WOMEN WHO RUN THE
COURT AND WORK IN THE COURT,
THEY WORK TOGETHER VERY WELL.
YOU CAN SEE IT IN THE FILM TO
HELP THE DEFENDANTS.
I GET THE SENSE THEY DON'T ALL
AGREE WITH EACH OTHER.
AT ONE TIME YOU SEE I LIE ZAL
TALKING TO CANDY AND TELLING HER
IF YOU GET BACK TO THE LIFE,
MAKE SURE YOU DO IT IN A WAY
THAT YOU WON'T GET ARRESTED.
NO JUDGMENT HERE.
I CAN'T SEE THE JUDGE SAYING
THAT OR SOME OF THE PROSECUTORS
SAYING THAT.
AM I GETTING THAT RIGHT?
>> YOU KNOW, WHEN THAT HAPPENED
WHEN I WAS FILMING THAT, I WAS
ALSO SHOCKED SHE WAS SAYING
THAT.
I WAS LIKE WOW, I WONDER HOW
EVERYONE ELSE IS GOING TO FEEL
ABOUT THIS.
EVERYONE'S JUST DOING THE BEST
JOB THEY CAN GIVEN THEIR ROLE IN
THE SYSTEM BECAUSE AT THE END OF
THE DAY, NO MATTER WHAT THEIR
DILEMMA IS OR HOW THEY FEEL
WHAT'S GOING ON FOR THE WOMEN
AND GIRLS, THEIR BOTTOM LINE
SHARED GOAL IS TO HELP THESE
WOMEN IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM
THEY CAN.
>> AT THE END OF THE FILM IT'S A
DISTURBING SCENE WHEN WE SEE AN
I.C.E. AGENTS ENTER THE COURT IN
ORDER TO ARREST SOME OF THESE
WOMEN TO LATER DEPORT THEM.
HOW CAN THE COURT CONTINUE TO
SURVIVE OR EXIST AS A SAFE SPACE
FOR THESE WOMEN WHEN THEY CAN'T
PROTECT THESE WOMEN FROM I.C.E.
AGENTS THAT WANT TO THE TAKE
THEM AND DEPORT THEM?
>> YEAH, THAT MOMENT IN THE
FILMING PROCESS IS REALLY,
REALLY SCARY AND CHALLENGING.
AND YOU REALLY FEEL THE
FRAGILITY OF THIS SMALLIE
COSYSTEM THAT THEY CREATED IN
THIS SMALL CORNER OF NEW YORK.
WHETHER OR NOT IT CAN SURVIVE OR
NOT, I DON'T KNOW.
>> THE COURT IS STILL THERE?
>> THIS COURT STILL EXISTS AND
THE WOMEN ARE STILL BEING
ARRESTED AND I.C.E. STILL EXISTS
AND TRUMP IS STILL IN POWER.
SO ALL THESE WOMEN WHO ARE IN
THE COURT CAN DO IS CONTINUE TO
DO THEIR BEST, GIVEN THE MANY
EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES THAT
MAKING THIS WHOLE SYSTEM SO
CHALLENGING FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS.
>> STEPHANIE, IT'S AN AMAZING
FILM.
A WONDERFUL FILM.
YOU TOLD ME SOMETHING THAT
SURPRISED ME WHICH IS WOMEN ARE
COMING TO SEE IT BUT NOT THAT
MANY MEN.
I CAN'T UNDERSTAND THAT BECAUSE
THIS IS CERTAINLY NOT A WOMEN'S
FILM BUT FOR ALL HUMAN BEINGS.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR MAKING IT
AND JOINING US.
>> THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING
US.
>> FOR INFORMATION ON HOW STUCK
WATCH "BLOWN UP" VISIT OUR
WEBSITE AT METROFOCUS.ORG.


URL: https://www.thirteen.org/metrofocus/2019/06/target-sex-trafficking-prostitution/