The Long Journey of 'The Long Night': Tim Matsui's work to document underage sex trafficking in the US
The Long Journey of 'The Long Night'
17 year old 'Natalie,' a survivor of domestic minor sex trafficking, now lives in the Southwest with her parents, Nacole and Tom, where they relocated after surviving the ordeal.
In Tim Matsui's film, 'The Long Night,' a police officer estimates that there are between 100,000 to 300,000 underage sex workers active in the United States alone. Armed for the most part with only a DSLR and a homemade audio setup, Matsui has dedicated years to following two young women. During the course of the film, 'Natalie,' a girl who found herself coerced into a life of prostitution at only 15 years old, recovers from her situation with the help of her family, while another woman - Lisa - continues to languish as an addict on the streets of Seattle.
The documentary explores the topic from several perspectives; the police, caseworkers and families as well as the girls themselves, and many of the characters in the film are shockingly open with Matsui's camera.
The Long Night was completed as a feature more than a year ago, but Matsui continues to devote his energies to getting the project seen and raising awareness of the twin problems of teenage runaways and sex trafficking. The film has already won several accolades including First Place Long Form Documentary Feature in the 2015 World Press Photo competition as well as POYi Documentary Project of the Year.
We've been speaking to Tim about The Long Night and you can learn more about the project in our in-depth Q&A which starts on the next page. Our questions are in yellow.
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