Directed by Armie Hicks Jr. Written by Armie Hicks Jr & Sade Sellers Produced by Lauren Herrel & Lisa Mazzotta, Sophia Kaprp, Kristopher Wile & Armie Hicks Jr. Executive Produced by Thomas Martin Starring: Birgundi Baker Xander Bailey Sophia McDowell Mariama Diallo Roy Abramsohn Pedrom Isaac Chairez
“Circuit” a heart-rending drama, based on a true story, by Armie Hicks Jr, tells the story of 16-year-old Savannah Jones who is lured into a relationship by an older man in hopes of finding affection and safe haven. Unfortunately, she is dragged into a crippling and destructive world of sex trafficking and soon finds herself having to partake in dark sexual acts along with many other girls in her situation. Armie’s team of actors has continuously strived to create works of films that aim to touch the hearts of its audience and spark conversations that call for change.
Most importantly, Armie states above that “As filmmakers, we have keen curiosity for stories dealing with social justice and marginalized people”, and he effectively allows these themes to be portrayed through the emotions of the characters and the tonal shifts in this film. When it comes to the world of sex trafficking, every year millions of people are deceived into a horrific life of sexual exploitation and forced labor. “Circuit” is careful to keep opposing forces at equilibrium, allowing a story filled with grief and devastation to be presented in a captivating manner. This allows the audience to empathize with the main character and her story, and at the same time still be able to take in the creative value of the film.
Words by Olisa Tasie-madi
KEY FRAME I
In this frame, we witness for the first time when Savannah's own identity is stripped from her as she is now referred to as Blondie and nothing more. It highlights the central evil that lies at the heart of sexual trafficking. As people, especially girls, are taken from their families and homes, the value for who they are as humans is taken away and live on as someone's property. Their existence is merely boiled down to that of an object and whoever they were before that meant nothing anymore.
KEY FRAME II
Perfectly accompanying the scene's camera movements and strong colors are the sound of roaring lions as Savannah and her friends are presented to the men like prey in the wild. This frame solidifies the theme of helplessness amongst the main characters and in the lives of the victims. The power dynamic of lions over its prey and these men over the girls adds to the narrative that portrays the horrific experience that their lives become having to live in fear. The director, Armie, does a great job of allowing his actors to say more with facial expressions and body language than with their words.
KEY FRAME III
In this final frame, after Savannah's failed attempt for rescue, her captor makes it clear to her that she no longer has parents and that she belongs solely to him as property. Along with her innocence and self-worth, we see her strength and hope wither away into nothingness. The meaning behind the film and its story are amplified more than ever as the audience comes to the realization that anyone could be a victim of such atrocities causing the need for raised awareness and more attention to the situation.
"Circuit" proved to be a touching piece of cinematic storytelling that is best described as an emotional message on the devastating nature of sex trafficking that hits home in a way that cannot be described with words alone.