Carga – You won’t pretend it’s nothing anymore

by Ettore Arcangeli. Translated by Gaia Venturini

After realising documentaries on the Portuguese Television about the bright side of immigration and integration, Bruno Gascon decides to collect the bad stories he heard in a film: his first feature Carga.

Viktoriya (Michalina Olszanska) dreams for a better life. It seems impossible in his country, as it’s hardly possible to leave it legally. That’s why, as other thousands of people in the world, she relies on traders to enter Portugal. Her dreams will never come true, because the reality of the human trafficking turns her dream into a nightmare and her hope into resignation.

The lorry driver Antonio (Vìtor Norte) participates to this trade which turns men and women into wares to deliver, to sort, to sell and to make profit. The financial crisis affecting Portugal pushed him in this net from which even workers cannot escape.  Antonio, despite his regrets and his sense of guilt, will be forced to resign himself to this in order to survive in this shocking reality.

Carga is a film for survival. Viktorya, as her traveling companions, decides to make the journey with the aim of  surviving to the spreading crisis and violence on her country, Ukraine, since the collapse of Soviet Union. Antonio gets in the mechanism to save his family threatened by the economic crisis. But once in the system, you have to respect the scheme to avoid affecting not only yourself, but especially your loved ones. This is the reason why Antonio doesn’t leave the crime cartel he is involved in. It is a torture for Mario, a member of the cartel, and it frightens every girl dragged into this exploitation circle that smashes them. This is all about some man’s appetite, longing for a pathetic and quick orgasm.

Bruno Gascon tells us a terrible story, but sadly softened than the everyday reality actually is. The human trafficking is real and clear in suburbs of our towns. There’s no point in pretending it’s nothing and in thinking it’s just a problem in underdeveloped countries  or with a small size population ones. Unfortunately, it’s a daily reality and very close to us that fills the town with girls yearning for a happy life, but forced to be objects. Not only human trafficking makes profit on its victims, but turns them into things: that is for the outside world perspective, but also for the victims themselves who loose every form of resilience.

The obscene reality is much worse than a brutal scene in a film. There’s no nightmare on the screen, but it’s out of the theatre: it’s in the hotel where these girls are forced to satisfy eager businessmen on a trip; it’s in the street where these girls wait for a new customer, maybe unaware or simply indifferent to their past; it’s in everyday life of all of us, where often the ones we call whores are just victims of a disgusting trade.

Carga forces the spectator to come to terms with the reality, to choose between indifference or condemnation.

(return to the italian version here)