Playground is a documentary that touches base on the child sex trade in America. It debuted in the United States on September 4, 2009 at the Tribeca Film Festival.
When the show opens, we are provided information about how Americans travel to Cambodia to sex up child sex rings. Over one thousand children are involved in the child sex industry. Any one can give a pimp twelve dollars to spend a night with a child. Child activists feel that no economy should be built on the suffering of children.
The experts are focusing on the United States and how children will be sex trafficked from one state to another. Every American state has a sex trade and that puts it into an organized crime category. The sex trade is number thirteen on the tourism industry and continues to grow daily.
The profile of a child in the sex trade business is continuously changing, while many of these kids are from poor backgrounds more of them are now from rich backgrounds. Many children are lured into the sex trade by pimps, who promise them a good life, lots of money, and drugs.
Atlanta, Georgia is well known for it’s child sex trade and men will fly into the city, have sex with a child then fly back out, without giving it a second thought to what type of heinous crime they committed. Getting caught pimping out a young girl in Georgia is a misdemeanor and comes with a fifty dollar fine.
With the development of the national response system, a missing child must be placed in the National Crime Information Center and an Amber Alert must be initiated. If a child is not found within the first three hours, after reported missing, they are more than likely deceased. Runaways are treated differently because once they are entered into the database, they become a throwaway.
Oregon has more sex trade businesses than San Francisco, California. There is a rush of young girls coming into the city and they will stay for two weeks then disappear. Eleven year old girls are seen baby strolling or prostituting and Johns are looking for the perfect experience, which is why the child sex trade industry is so profitable. Extremist groups are now getting involved in the sex trade industry because of the large amounts of cash it brings them.
Michelle a young victim of the sex trade, welfare system, and bad parents is introduced to the viewers. She entered foster care, when she was five years old because she was molested by her uncle, who resided with them. She told her drug addict mother, but nothing came of it and over time she became a parental figure for her brothers and sisters. At fourteen years old, she ran away from foster care and ended up in the arms of sex offender, Scurry. He immediately put her in the sex trade industry and moved her from state to state. At one point, cops located Michelle and Scurry in a motel room, but refused to do anything because they both were fully dressed.
Nina was victimized by her dug addict, abusive mother, who transported her from city to city to have sex with men. She was taught early on how to please a man and how much to charge them for each individual sex act. Her father tried to save her from her abusive mother, when she was a toddler, but she ran away from school to find her mother. She said that a hundred men lined up to have sex with her each night.
Over 600,000 sex offenders have a public record and can be tracked through the public sex offenders database by anyone, but 100,000 cannot be tracked. Twenty-one states have a child sex offender database that has children as young as six years old listed in it. Craigslist is one of the best places for young girls and men, who are soliciting sex. Computer tools have opened up a private world for pedophiles to surf the web for child pornography.
Michelle is located in California and agrees to an interview. She now has two small children with the first one being born when she was just fifteen years old. She told about her rape experience and how she laid in the position as a doll looking at the corner of her bedroom, during the actual event. She said that it was not a big deal for her to have sex with thirty to forty-five men a day, when she was being pimped out. She was also raped, cut, and beaten by pedophile, Nathan O’Conner. Michelle is later arrested and charged with child endangerment because she left her infant with a known drug dealer.
While Playground is a very informative documentary about the American child sex trafficking trade, it is just that and nothing more. While we are introduced to three young victims that is about as far as it goes. The story of missing Michelle is told throughout the film, until she is located in California. I found her story very intriguing and could have listened to her tell her story for the entirety of the film, but instead we are given lots of statistics, which we could found ourself on the Internet. Although Americans might not want to acknowledge such crimes, this documentary helps brings it to life, as it should be. Sex pedophilia is an epidemic in America and it needs to be addressed by out public officials. This is why I feel that Playground only deserves a 6 out of 10.