Tonight at 7 p.m. the Hattiesburg abolitionist group Conspiracy Of Hope will show the film “CALL + RESPONSE” at the Saenger Theater in downtown Hattiesburg.
The film is a “rockumentary” documenting the modern-day slave trade. The film was created after rock musician Justin Dillon and his band Tremelo witnessed first hand the reality of human trafficking during a tour in Russia. After doing some of his own research concerning the methods used to trap and hold the victims of the slave trade, Dillon decided to use his music to fight for the rights of modern-day slaves.
Mark Langham, the founder of Conspiracy Of Hope, said the video engages audiences more effectively than print media. “People tend to respond to music and visual art,” he said. “Though the message of anti-human trafficking is the most important thing, sometimes how you say it and who’s saying it is everything.”
After performing for many anti-trafficking benefit concerts, Dillon partnered with several musical artists, actors, actresses and activists in an effort to create the documentary which became “CALL + RESPONSE.”
CNN, Dr. Phil, The Today Show and MSNBC have spotlighted Dillon and “CALL + RESPONSE” spotlighted during primetime. The film features several acclaimed musical artists such as Imogen Heap, Five For Fighting, Nickel Creek, Matisyahu, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and others. Admission is $5 and all proceeds go toward fighting the sex slave trade and human trafficking.
Junior from William Carey University Luke Pigott has helped to spread the word about the benefit showing at his school.
“Films like ‘CALL + RESPONSE’ are important for people to see because it’s so easy to not know about, or even to forget terrible tragedies,” he said.
Pigott said more people are currently in slavery than in the days of its legality. “If we don’t do something about it, their blood will be on our hands,” he said. “How awful would that be: to know you could’ve helped put a stop to something this awful, and did nothing.”
Nicolas Treat, a USM polymer science major, said, “I think the showing of ‘CALL + RESPONSE’ in Hattiesburg is a step in the right direction for sex slavery awareness.”
Treat also suggested buying merchandise from businesses like SariBari and Freeset, which exist to free women from the sex trade.
He said, “Anything we can do to raise awareness for this cause of ridding the world of sex trafficking is a good thing…I hope the film showing is extremely successful, and I hope many similar events will follow.”