Film on sex trade takes Catholic gong
The Australian Catholic Film Office (ACFO) has awarded its 2007 Film of the Year to Dee McLachlan's The Jammed.
Director of the ACFO and jury chair, Jesuit Fr Richard Leonard said 2007 was one of the strongest years in many for Australian films.
"The Jammed, The Home Song Stories and Romulus, My Father were among the best," Fr Leonard said.
"The jury felt that The Jammed was a singularly courageous piece of cinema. Even though the extremely violent world this film portrays means many people would not want to see it, that does not allow us to ignore the sex trade in women and children occurring in our nation," he said.
The movie traces the story of three women brought to Australia under false pretences for sexual exploitation. The Jammed reveals not only the horror of modern human trafficking and slavery but also peels back the complex moral layers involved for everyone, including governments.
Fr Leonard said it would be hard to think of a social issue which the whole Church is presently speaking with such clarity.
"Pope Benedict's statement on human trafficking for sex, his message to mark World Day of Migrants and Refugees, and the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerants have strenuously called for all Catholics, Christians and people of good will to do everything they can to counter the causes and the evil results of human trafficking."
"The Jammed plays the role of raising our consciousness on this issue.
"This uncompromising and confronting film illuminates a dark, tragic side of Australian society and thus makes a significant contribution to increasing people's awareness of an under-recognised but important issue of faith and justice."
The Jammed is named Australian Movie of the Year by Catholic Film Office (ACBC 04/02/08)
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5 Feb 2008