Earlier Robert Bilheimer tackled the international spread of AIDS in a well-received documentary. In his new film, Not My Life, he takes on human trafficking.
Shot in a dozen countries on five continents, the film looks at a world where children are exploited daily through forced labor, domestic servitude, begging and sexual violence.
Bilheimer says after completing the AIDS documentary he received a call from the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime about the possibility of a new film that would cover the "new plague" of human trafficking.
Human trafficking is a problem most often associated with Asia, Africa and Europe, but it is also found here in the United States.
"Angie was a teenager (from Kansas); she went to a private school, but her parents were going through some difficult times," Bilheimer said. "She was about 11 or 12 and they weren’t paying that much attention to her and you know, she was starting to exhibit some behavior changes, a little bit, maybe trying to call attention to herself or get her parents to notice her. And the pimps, they pick right up on this stuff, they see a kid who's behavior changes and she was gone."
Angie's story is just one of the many that are presented in Bilheimer's documentary that is being shown at the Pittsburgh Filmmakers' Melwood Screening Room tonight, in recognition of Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, as part of a program of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.