About the Film

 A documentary film by Mimi Chakarova

The Price of Sex is a feature-length documentary about young Eastern European women who’ve been drawn into a netherworld of sex trafficking and abuse. Intimate, harrowing and revealing, it is a story told by the young women who were supposed to be silenced by shame, fear and violence. Photojournalist Mimi Chakarova, who grew up in Bulgaria, takes us on a personal investigative journey, exposing the shadowy world of sex trafficking from Eastern Europe to the Middle East and Western Europe. Filming undercover and gaining extraordinary access, Chakarova illuminates how even though some women escape to tell their stories, sex trafficking thrives.

“The film opened my eyes to the scope and scorching pain of the human trafficking problem. While it is difficult to watch—you should see it. The best weapon against this blight is awareness.”

—David Jacobson, Ambassador of the United States of America

“What a powerful piece… the cinematography was gorgeous, and the narrative offers incredible insight into international trafficking. I would absolutely tell people to see it, which is the highest endorsement I can give.”

—Peggy Orenstein, contributing writer, The New York Times Magazine

“The result of [Chakarova's] courageous efforts is a film that shines the light full blast on the dark crimes of sex slavery, particularly those perpetuated on Eastern European women... and throughout the areas of the world that both supply and demand this horrific skin trade.”

—Huffington Post

“Photojournalist Mimi Chakarova has sought and recorded the stories of Eastern European women who disappeared into the modern-day slave trade of sex trafficking with “The Price of Sex” – a searing new film that opens up this hidden world.”

—NPR, Talk of the Nation

“The Price of Sex is one of those films that haunt you. I watched it over a week ago and I still cannot get it out of my mind.”

—Women and Hollywood

“Fearlessly researched and undeniably urgent, “The Price of Sex” earned Chakarova the Nestor Almendros Courage in Filmmaking award at the Human Rights Watch fest and placed solidly among the audience favorites at SilverDocs.”


“[Chakarova's] attention to detail and dignity in her portrayals of victims, and the breathtaking courage she showed during her forays into the criminal underworld should serve as the professional standard to which all investigative reporters aspire.”

—Judge Ginger Thompson of the New York Times, 2011 Daniel Pearl Award

“More than simply bashing patriarchy or capitalism or globalization, Chakarova instead exposes the complexities and corruptions at their intersections, taking care to humanize, rather than exploit, her brave subjects.”

—Catherine Orr, Women’s and Gender Studies, Beloit College

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