A Russian gang operating in Leeds with no respect for the laws of England, traffic Eastern Europeans in containers then enslave them, the women to sex, the men to illegal fights. They cross local businessman Gabe Taylor and a war escalates, but when his daughter is taken to be sold into the sex trade, Gabe fights back. Written by
Stuart St Paul
This is a facts and figures review of FREIGHT, rather than an opinion based review, and it will hopefully lead the reader to be able to judge whether it is a film they wish to see. DESCRIPTION: themed on sex trafficking, human trafficking, it inevitably relates to gang crime and has violence and action. It is a pacey movie that follows two families, one UK and one from Moldavia who are effected by trafficking. The film has a strong female story/interest so is not just a boys action film. Similar to Taken in some ways. CERTIFICATION: the producers wanted and felt in could be a 15 but the BBFC gave it an 18, it was sent back and reviewed by senior inspectors who sympathised but upheld the 18, not on the level of violence but 'the overall tone' of the film and it's harsh depiction of the sex trade. The BBFC notes can be seen on their site, but they obviously felt the treatment of sex trafficking was more disturbing than Eastern Promises, which they gave a 15 and more in line with Taken that was given an 18. There is no use of the 'c' word, and just over 60 uses of the 'f' word. There is almost no nudity and no enforced sex scenes as in Eastern Promises. ORIGIN AND STORY BASE: The script was anchored on a Moldavian plight after the writer saw Michael Pailin's New Europe when he was shown, by a UNISEF officer, the huge trafficking problem in the poorest country in Europe. youtube.com/watch?v=fEMRmqkZ1Hw It uses a collection of stories about Eastern European crime in the UK, highlighted by the recent high profile case of the Romanian father and son prosecuted for sex trafficking in the UK. It is set in northern England, mentions Leeds, but could be anywhere. DVD and EXTRAS: If the copy you are offered does not have the ICON logo on the front it is likely a pirate of a very early test edit. The real DVD has the ICON logo and is the version seen in the cinema. The real version also has 112 minutes of interviews including the Eastern European actresses who have first hand knowledge of sex trafficking and behind the scenes footage and films which differ from the many films on the Youtube.com/freight2010 TV channel, which in itself gives enough background and footage to show the film you will see. INDUSTRY ACLAIM AWARDS: Action films do not normally win awards so it was only entered into 3 festivals in the USA to develop a market there as it has no US stars. Surprisingly it won Best Director and Best Actor at the prestigious Breckenridge Film Festival, the Silver Palm Award at the Mexican International Film Festival with a special note on its 'excellence in film making'. It was also nominated (last 5 in category) for Best Special Effects (Graham Aikman) and Best Foreign Film (non US film) at the AOF in Los Angeles. CAST: With no real movie stars, Billy Murray, Craig Fairbrass and Laura Aikman are the best known. But all the others are known for TV shows somewhere. The films web site is full of information and pictures and links freight2010.co.uk If you want to see footage and clips youtube.com/freight2010 will give you ample opportunity. The official press site is handled by noble PR on noblepr.co.uk/Press_Releases/icon/freight.htm CONCLUSION: there is enough material around to assess the film well and it does do what is says on the tin. If you like action films you will like it, if you like human stores it will have enough depth but be disturbing, it is not an easy subject matter but see the directors other film Devil's Gate and you will see he hits topics head on. If you are Russian or Romanian, you might be a little offended, but it is not about all Eastern Europeans, just the criminals and it shows good and bad in all. If you use the sex trade or work in it, you definitely won't appreciate this film.
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