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All of the former prostitutes interviewed in The Price of Sex were sold into the sex trade by a woman. That’s just one of the many astonishing facts presented by director and photojournalist Mimi Chakarova, an occasionally stupidly daring woman from Bulgaria who wonders what her fate might have been had her family not moved to the United States. Hers and other impoverished Eastern European countries are ripe fodder for sex traffickers; young women who have no prospects are offered legitimate jobs around the world (predominantly in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates), only to find themselves forced into prostitution once they’re shepherded there. Chakarova surreptitiously videotapes hookers sharing the streets with cops and even goes undercover in a Turkish sex club. (The clubs in Dubai, she notes, carry the seal of the Department of Tourism and Commerce.) The women’s stories are remarkably similar, while Chakarova’s research maddeningly proves there’s little hope for escape once they’re roped in. It’s stomach-turning and heartbreaking.
Tuesday, June 21 at 1:30 p.m. at AFI Silver 2; also on Wednesday, June 22 at 6:15 p.m. Discovery HD Theater.