Red Light, Green Light Director Michelle Brock on film as a means for political change

Fresh off of an afternoon screening of her short film, Red Light, Green Light, Michelle Brock stops by Eat Here to discuss the message behind the film. Brock and her husband, Jared co-founded Hope For The Sold, an organization that aims to eradicate sex-trafficking by “fighting sexual exploitation one word at a time,” as Brock explains. Brock, who lives outside of Ontario, Canada, is thrilled to be in Sarasota as a part of Through Women’s Eyes, but was unfortunately missed at the reception last Saturday due to a delay. Lucky for us she did make it in time to sit down with SRQ to tell us more about the cause she has become so passionate about.

Though she’s been a crusader for women who are forced into prostitution for more than 7 years, filmmaking is an entirely new endeavor and Brock admits she’s more comfortable with the written word and even refers to herself (and husband) as “accidental filmmakers.” They had been working on making a documentary about the horrendous crime of sex-trafficking and were still raising funds but due to a recent ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada which will fully decriminalize prostitution, Brock believed it was necessary to jumpstart this project. So, who originally intended on securing a director for the film, took her editor, associate producer and most film savvy of the two, Dave Mcsporran, to get filming equipment and set out along with Jared to ten countries to make explore the issue.

After the decision to decriminalize was made the country has one year to decide how to regulate and adopt this amendment. Though some consider legalization a positive mood, pro-legalization sex workers believe it empowers them to legitimize the profession and make the field safer, however, Brock points out that there’s a massive risk at hand. Once legalized, demand will go up, and according to Brock, though a small percentage of sex workers are voluntarily in the profession, many of these women have no choice in the matter. Once demand increases more women will be at risk to be forced into prostitution and police will now have no power to intervene. Obviously, this is a complex issue with many different angles, but Brock insists that there are better ways to improve politics for the safety of women.

In Sweden, the government adopted what is now referred to as the “Nordic Model” for regulation of prostitution. Here, they decriminalized the selling of sex, so women are rarely punished for soliciting, but the buying of sex is still a criminal act. Brock considers this the best current solution to the huge problem of sex-trafficking because she recognizes how difficult it is to prevent prostitution all together referring to it as “the oldest depression,” rather than profession. It was import for Brock to ask the question, “How can we prevent sexual exploitation before it happens in the first place?” in Red Light, Green Light. Thus, exploring the root of sexual exploitation and what would be the most effective way to stop it from happening.

What’s next for Brock? She’s excited to screen Red Light, Green Light at the Canadian Parliament this Wednesday, in order to inform viewers of the potential dangers of decriminalization and how to make sure that the regulations to come are “decisions made with wisdom.”

If you have interest in hosting a screening or just wish to learn more about the cause, head over to their website:

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