“I am Jane Doe,” a film about human trafficking will be shown at the Marin City Library, located at 164 Donahue Street in Marin City. The viewing will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 15,
The showing of “I am Jane Doe” is the second in a series of films and talks on the issue of human trafficking at the Marin City Library. Laurel Botsford, volunteer representative of Shared Hope International, will be available to answer any questions.
The film was written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Mary Mazzio, who also produced the film along with Academy Award-nominee, Alec Sokolow. Academy Award-nominee Jessica Chastain (Interstellar, The Help) narrated the film.
Mazzio previously worked as a lawyer representing indigent tenants facing evictions. She discovered that she could more effectively tell the stories of her clients through film to a wider audience. She then became a filmmaker and founded “50 Eggs, Inc.,” an independent film production company dedicated to create film with social impact.
“I am Jane Doe” tells the story of several American mothers who wage war against human trafficking on behalf of their middle-school daughters, who were victims of online sex-trafficking.
The documentary reveals how these mothers, after rescuing their middle school daughters, filed lawsuits against Backpage.com, the classified advertising website that for years was part of the Village Voice, an alternative news and culture weekly and website. The mothers stood up on behalf of thousands of other mothers, fighting back and refusing to take no for an answer.
“Jane Doe” is the name given to anonymous legal parties in U.S. courts, such as the five daughters who are the sex-trafficked victims that are suing Backpage. They include middle school girls from Boston, a 15-year-old violinist from Seattle, and a precocious 13-year-old girl from St. Louis.
The documentary follows the journey of these young girls and their mothers in real time as they run headlong into a collision course not only with Backpage but with judges, special interest groups, and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, an internet freedom law that provides a safe haven for website publishers to advertise underage girls for sex.
Although many of the lawsuits have not gone well, their efforts have sparked a political movement that now includes a Senate subcommittee investigation led by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).
The film features the attorneys involved in the various lawsuits, including a criminal defense lawyer working out of a strip mall in Washington State and a senior partner in one of the oldest white-shoe law firms in the country (Ropes & Gray) from Massachusetts.
The film also includes interviews with Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), as well as others involved with these cases.