Films on Slaves


Abduction of Eden

Docudrama 2012 R 1hr 38m. “Hyun Jae” is still a teenager when she’s kidnapped and taken to Las Vegas, where she’s forced to work as a prostitute for two years. (It is based on a true story of Korean-American Chong Kim’s abduction and enslavement.)  See Full Review

I Am Slave

Docudrama 2010 NR 1hr 20m. This drama inspired by true events follows a Sudanese girl who learns to fight her oppressors after being kidnapped and sold into slavery, first in Khartoum Sudan and then in London. Today, as absurd as it may intellectually seem, slavery still exists. Breaks my heart to know this is happening all over the world to thousands of people. How can anyone believe they truly own another human being? Simultaneously heartbreaking and triumphant. A powerful story of modern day slavery that will touch you to the core. It brings tears to my eyes knowing that people not only in African but in parts of Asia and in the Middle East are still forced and sold into slavery every day. Really shows how things must of been in USA not too long ago, when the laws where horrifically outrageous, beyond stupid, the racism mind-boggling. I am now going to look for ways I can get involved to help.  This is the best movie I have seen in a very long time. And I didn’t even have to read subtitles. Thank you to the producers, writers, and actors for making it. The postscripts after the movie estimate that there are 5,000 women living as slaves today in London, and that 20,000 people have been enslaved in Sudan. See Full Review

Blind Mountain
(Mang Shan)

Drama 2007 NR 95 minutes. Blind Mountain reveals one of China’s continuing social problems, selling women for marriage in modern day China. The promise of a good-paying job lures a young Chinese woman into a horrifying predicament in this drama. In the 1990s college student Bai Xuemei (Lu Huang) awakens in a remote village to find she’s been sold into a marriage to the repulsive “husband” that is slavery in disguise. Her resistance only results in being raped by her “husband” and continued beatings at the hands of her husband, her husbands’ parents and the villagers. Trapped in the fiercely traditional town, the young woman finds that her avenues of escape are all blocked. As she searches for allies, including a young boy, a school teacher and a mailman. With hope running out, Bai undertakes one final dramatic stand against her oppressors. See Full Review


Just Do It, Slaves!
Human trafficking in Nike’s sweatshop factory in Malaysia

Documentary 2008 7 min. Award-winning TV reports on human trafficking of workers by Vietnam’s state-run recruitment agencies for Nike’s sweatshops in Malaysia. We, the Committee to Protect Vietnamese Workers, and the Textile Clothing Footwear Union of Australia, alerted and provided witnesses to the investigations.

Link to watch Just Do It, Slaves! online free


Child Slaves

Documentary Slavery: A 21st Century Evil Series Season 1 Episode 4: 24 min. There are at least 8.4 million child slaves in the world today, many of them held as forced labour.

Link to watch Child Slaves online free

Slavery in the Chocolate Industry

Documentary 46 min. Although slavery is no longer legal there are still millions of people living in slavery today. One place and industry where slaves still exist is the cocoa industry. This documentary takes a deeper look at that industry with disturbing and challenging eyes.

Link to watch Slavery in the Chocolate Industry online free

The Harvest / La Cosecha

Documentary 2011 NR 1hr  20m. This gripping documentary follows three of the more than 400,000 migrant child farm workers in the United States who miss out on childhood and school as they work up to 14 hours a day, seven days a week, without the protection of child labor laws.


Abduction of Eden

Docudrama 2012 R 1hr 38m. “Hyun Jae” is still a teenager when she’s kidnapped and spirited to Las Vegas, where she’s forced to work as a prostitute for the next two years. (It is based on a true story of Korean-American Chong Kim’s abduction and enslavement.)
See Full Review

The Whistleblower

Docudrama Thriller 2010 R 112 minutes. Sent to Bosnia to train cops in the aftermath of that country’s brutal civil war, American policewoman Kathryn Bolkovac (Rachel Weisz) uncovers evidence that U.N. peacekeepers are complicit in a flourishing sex-trafficking trade. But when she brings her allegations to light, she discovers that her foes are more powerful than the law. Based on a true story, this thriller from director Larysa Kondracki co-stars Monica Bellucci and David Strathairn.

The Elizabeth Smart Story

Docudrama  2003 NR 89 minutes. Inspired by true events, this made-for-television drama centers around the disappearance of and subsequent search for Elizabeth Smart (Amber Marshall), the 14-year-old girl who was abducted from her family’s Utah home one fateful night in 2003. Sparking a countrywide search, Elizabeth’s shocking kidnapping became a media sensation and captured the hearts and minds of the entire nation for almost a year.

Sex Slaves (2007)

Documentary MSNBC Undercover 2007 NR 4 episodes. Human rights advocates estimate that every year, nearly a million women worldwide are illegally bought and sold as sex slaves, many of whom end up in the United States. MSNBC goes inside the human trafficking and underground prostitution scene.

Sex Slaves (2006)

Documentary Frontline 2006. An estimated half-million women are trafficked annually for the purpose of sexual slavery. The women are kidnapped — or lured by traffickers who prey on their dreams of employment abroad — then they are “exported” to Europe, the Middle East, the United States, and elsewhere, where they are sold to pimps, drugged, terrorized, locked in brothels, and raped repeatedly. In Eastern Europe, since the fall of communism, sex trafficking has become the fastest growing form of organized crime, with Moldova and Ukraine widely seen as the centers of the global trade in women and girls. Frontline presents a unique hidden camera look at this world of sexual slavery, talking with traffickers and their victims, and exposing the government indifference that allows the abuses to continue virtually unchecked. Sex Slaves also follows the remarkable journey of one man determined to find his trafficked wife by posing as a trafficker himself to buy back her freedom.

Sex Slaves

Documentary Slavery: A 21st Century Evil Series Season 1 Episode 2: 24 min. There are an estimated 1.4 million sex slaves in the world today and international trafficking is on the rise.

Link to watch Sex Slaves online free

Trafficked: Slavery in America

Documentary 2011 TV-MA 44 minutes. Go behind the scenes with investigators as they examine the horror of human trafficking. A camera crew goes inside massage parlors and other shops where vulnerable immigrant women are being forced into prostitution.


Docudrama 2007 R 120 minutes. Based on a New York Times Magazine story, this crime drama starring Kevin Kline delves into a sordid world of international sex trafficking that leads from Mexico City to a New Jersey stash house. In a bid to save kidnapped 13-year-old Adriana (Paulina Gaitan) before she’s sold into sexual slavery, her desperate brother (Cesar Ramos) teams with a Texas cop (Kline). Can they find her before she vanishes into a hellish underworld?


Thriller 2011 R 1hr 25m. A young immigrant’s dreams of a modeling career quickly dissolve when she learns she’s been duped by unscrupulous human traffickers. The postscripts after the movie state that 17,500 people are trafficked into the US yearly, mostly women and children.

Moldova: The Price of Sex
Women Caught in the Sex Trade

Documentary Frontline / World 2007. “Flash Point” is a series of online slideshows that present the work of up-and-coming as well as established photojournalists. In the series debut, “The Price of Sex,” documentary photographer Mimi Chakarova looks into the lives of young East European women trafficked into the sex trade.

Lilya 4-Ever

Drama 2003 R 109 minutes. In director Lukas Moodysson’s gut-wrenching drama, Oksana Akinshina stars as the 16-year-old title character who’s left to fend for herself in a blighted Estonian suburb when her mother (Lyubov Agapova) abandons her to move to America. Eager to escape her grim surroundings and seek a bright future, she falls victim to the promises of the charming Andrei (Pavel Ponomaryov), only to find a new life in Sweden worse than the one she left behind.


Bridal Slaves

Documentary from Slavery: A 21st Century Evil Series 24 min. In the midst of widespread poverty, fueled by economic inequality and rampant corruption, a new form of slavery – bridal slavery – has flourished in India. Women and young girls are sold for as little as $120 to men who often abuse them.

Link to watch Bridal Slaves online free

Blind Mountain
(Mang Shan)

Drama 2007 NR 95 minutes. The promise of a good-paying job lures a young Chinese woman into a horrifying predicament in this drama. College student Bai Xuemei (Lu Huang) awakens in a remote village to find she’s been sold into a marriage that is slavery in disguise. Her resistance to the repulsive “husband” and his family only results in beatings and rape. With hope running out and allies few, Bai undertakes one final dramatic stand against her oppressors. See Full Review


American Drug War
The Last White Hope

Documentary 2007 NR 118 minutes. With commentary from soldiers on both sides of the conflict, filmmaker Kevin Booth’s incisive documentary wades into the murky waters of the American war on drugs, the longest and costliest war in U.S. history. Taking viewers from prisons and inner-city streets to the halls of Congress and his own kitchen, Booth attempts to sort out the intricacies of the national drug policy — and the reasons for its unmitigated failure.


Beyond the Steppes

Drama 2010 NR 1hr 20m. During World War II, a young Polish mother is forced to separate from her husband and sent by Stalin’s orders to a remote, inhospitable area in Siberia to work at a labor camp. When her child becomes sick, she sets off on a mission to try to find treatment for her baby. After the Red Army invaded Poland in 1939 the NKVD (secret police) deported “enemies of the people” to various remote areas of the Soviet Union. It’s estimated that up to 1.7 million Poles were deported. In the film, the wife of a Polish officer and her infant son are deported to a women’s work camp deep in the USSR. The prisoners are forced to perform back-breaking manual labor with very little food in an extremely harsh environment. Nina’s baby becomes ill and she petitions her captors to allow her to travel to the nearest town for medicine. She’s assisted by a small group of nomads in her quest. Beyond the Steppes is an intimate, unblinking view of the horror of this little-known chapter of Polish history. Lovely Agnieszka Grochowska, one of Poland’s finest actresses, is well-cast as Nina and gives a praiseworthy, evocative performance. Her sorrowful beauty is reminiscent of the great Juliette Binoche. The cinematography is superb. The viewer experiences the overwhelming isolation of the deportees against the backdrop of the unwelcoming steppes of Kazakhstan where this film was shot. Nina’s quest for medicine travels through some breathtaking mountain scenery.

The Way Back

Docudrama 2010 PG-13 133 minutes. After narrowly escaping from a wretched World War II Siberian labor camp, a small band of multinational soldiers desperately undertakes a harrowing journey to traverse Siberia, the Gobi Desert and the Himalayas on foot. Title Card: “In 1941, three men walked out of the Himalayas into India. They had survived a 4000 mile walk from a Siberian gulag to freedom. This film is dedicated to them.” This is an outstanding historical and survival drama, that is amazingly based on a true story. It portrays a part of WW II that we don’t hear much about…the Siberian gulags. Stalin and the Soviets were our allies during the War; but in 1941 when this took place, Stalin and Hitler were allied, and parties to the sordid partition of Poland. Polish political prisoners, like the protagonist, Janusz, were arrested on trumped up charges and sent to the virtually escape-proof gulags of Siberia. This movie portrays the story of how a group of prisoners manages to escape from a gulag and make their way out of Siberia, through Mongolia and the Gobi Desert, Tibet and the Himalayas, to India. They all did not make it of course, but the miracle is that any did. Based on the book The Long Walk.

As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me
(So weit die Füße tragen)

Docudrama 2003 NR 122 minutes. After escaping from a Siberian labor camp in the wake of World War II, German soldier Clemens Forell (Bernhard Bettermann) makes his way toward his wife and children, traveling more than 8,000 miles over the course of three long years to reach his final destination. Hardy Martins directs this critically acclaimed adaptation of the best-selling book by Josef Martin Bauer, a true story of survival and courage.

The Bridge on the River Kwai

Docudrama 1957 PG 167 minutes. Director David Lean’s sweeping epic — best known for a whistling work theme that became legendary — is set in a World War II Japanese prison camp, where British prisoners are forced to build a railway bridge as a morale-building exercise.


CSA: Confederate States of America

Mockumentary 2004 PG-13 1hr29m.  Set in the fictitious, modern-day Confederate States of America, this satire imagines what it would be like if the South had won the Civil War.   The answer is that slavery would to this day be a way of life in this country, the Confederate States of America, affecting every aspect of life as we know it. The film is presented as if we’re watching a documentary on TV, complete with commercials and newsbreaks, which provide much humor in their overt racism.  See Full Review

Africans in America

Documentary Series Four Episodes 1998 NR 2 discs. This documentary series recounts the history of slavery in America. The four episodes — “The Terrible Transformation,” “Revolution,” “Brotherly Love” and “Judgment Day” — span the years from 1450 to the end of the Civil War. The series explores the paradox at the heart of the American story: that a democracy declared all men equal but enslaved one group to provide prosperity to another.

12 Years a Slave

Docudrama 2013 R. The autobiography of Solomon Northup, a free black man who was abducted from New York state and sold into slavery in the mid-1800s, serves as the basis for this historical drama. Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Northup, and Brad Pitt plays an abolitionist. The book by Solomon is excellent, better than the movie.

Twelve Years a Slave
Solomon Northup’s Odyssey
(Half-Slave, Half-Free)

Docudrama 1984 NR 117 minutes. Based on the autobiography Twelve Years a Slave, this gripping drama tells the true story of Solomon Northup (Avery Brooks), a black man living in Washington, D.C., in the mid-19th century. Northup, born a free man, works as a carpenter and musician. But one day in 1841, he’s kidnapped by a Louisiana slave owner and forced into slavery. Northup spends a dozen years enduring harrowing hardships, while his family desperately searches for him.


Drama 1977 NR 580 minutes. This legendary TV miniseries — an adaptation of author Alex Haley’s groundbreaking novel that details the history of his own family from slavery to emancipation — received five Emmy Awards, as well as a Golden Globe for Best Dramatic TV Series. With a dynamic ensemble cast, this rousing epic features LeVar Burton, in his acting debut, portraying Haley’s ancestor, Kunta Kinte, who was kidnapped from his African village and sold into slavery.


Drama 1969 NR 1hr 45m. After being sold to a cruel plantation owner, a slave fights for his freedom and encourages his oppressed brothers and sisters to revolt.


Docudrama 1997 R 155 minutes. An African-born slave leads a mutiny against his brutal captors, but because the ship is in American waters, a U.S. court must decide the slaves’ fates. In an eloquent courtroom speech, ex-president John Quincy Adams argues for the Africans’ freedom.

Slave Ship Mutiny

Documentary Secrets of the Dead 2010 TV-PG 53m. This inspiring documentary recounts a group of African slaves’ heroic struggle for freedom as they overtook their Dutch captors in a unified mutiny.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Drama 1927 NR 112 minutes. Depicting the realities of slavery while lamenting the passage of an idealized South, this 1927 movie adaptation of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s famed novel was one of the most expensive films of the silent era. James B. Lowe delivers a sensitive performance as Uncle Tom, while black and white actors bring to life the roles of Eliza, Eva and George. George Siegmann is chilling as the villainous Simon Legree.

The Lost Diary of Dr. Livingstone

Documentary Secrets of the Dead series 2014 TV-PG 52m. Explorer David Livingstone reported a slaughter in Africa that horrified the public in the 1870s. But recent analysis of his field diary reveals more to the story of the massacre of an African village by  aggressively violent Arab slave traders, who forcibly killed and enslaved free people for centuries. Livingston did not bring an end to the slave trade in Africa. He merely changed European opinion on slavery into opposition to slavery. (The slave trade importation of slaves, as opposed to slavery itself, was banned in the U.S. by federal law in 1808, and the U.S. 13th amendment freeing the slaves in the U.S. was passed in 1865. This last Livingston expedition was in the 1870’s.) Africa never ended the slave trade, but subsequently sold slaves to elsewhere than to the U.S. and Britain. He helped the movement to abolish slave markets in Africa itself, but his explorations and discoveries helped to open up the country for a new kind of slavery, Colonialism.



Docudrama 1960 PG-13 196 minutes.  Stanley Kubrick directed this epic saga based on ancient events, chronicling the birth of a vagabond slave-army led by an ex-gladiator named Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) that threatens the sovereignty of all-mighty Rome. This film has everything, including a wonderfully funny (and Oscar-winning) performance from Peter Ustinov as the cowardly owner of a gladiator school. Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton, Jean Simmons and Tony Curtis co-star.


Drama 2000 R 155 minutes. Tapped for the throne after the death of the emperor, Roman general Maximus instead finds himself condemned to death by the late ruler’s power-hungry son. Escaping execution, Maximus becomes a powerful gladiator, bent on exacting revenge in the ring.


Drama 1959 G 222 minutes.  Charlton Heston plays Judah Ben-Hur, a proud Jew who runs afoul of ambitious boyhood friend Messala (Stephen Boyd) in this 1959 epic that boasts an unforgettable chariot race and earned 11 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Heston) and Best Director (William Wyler). Condemned to life as a slave, Judah swears vengeance against Messala and escapes, later crossing paths with a gentle prophet named Jesus.

See also:



Custom Search


Must-See Movies—For What You Need to Know