The Slave Trade in the World Today Compendium
English Version * Italian Version * Trailer * Tie-in Book
"The startling undercover exposé of sexual and physical slavery."
The American Film Institute wrote:
|Lord Robin Maugham, campaigning against the practice of slavery, states that the illegal traffic in human life is thriving in violation of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights because the American and British governments are unwilling to challenge Arab oil potentates who favor the slave trade. Throughout Africa, India, and the Middle East, hidden cameras are used to collect evidence of outlawed practices: young boys and girls are traded openly in a marketplace; harems flourish along the Arabian peninsula; in a slave market near Khartum, elderly sheiks examine nude women; police raid a caravan smuggling enslaved children from Chad to Saudi Arabia; a woman with shackles on her feet hobbles around a market; Arab herdsmen whip African natives in order to select the strongest for sale; Eve Kenneth, a British prostitute who spent 2 years in a sultan's harem, produces a film depicting her experiences; and giant land crabs are seen dragging skeletons of escaped slaves on an island in the Red Sea. The investigators explain that the Africans were driven to slavery by poverty, preferring bondage to starvation.|
Folco Quilici & Roberto Malenotti
Also Known As:
There Are Still Slaves in the World, Le schiave esistono ancora, As Escravas Ainda Existem, Les esclaves existent toujours, Orjakauppaa, Sklaven heute - Geschäft ohne Gnade
video codec: XviD 1.1.0 Beta 2
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Audio Tracks: 1 [1-Main Movie]
First up is the English version of this flick, released by Intermedia/Woodhaven Entertainment on VHS and later on DVD (this rip is from the DVD, though the source is obviously a shoddy tape master).
the DVD back cover wrote:
|Article 1 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights bans slavery from this earth. Yet it continues unabated to this day.|
This documentary, filmed secretly at the risk of death, is a graphic, disturbing and fascinating glimpse into the realm of slaves, slave traders and slave masters. Enter and experience actual slave markets, slave auctions, harems and much more. See women of many nations and races, stripped, displayed and sold for an hour, an evening, or for life. Witness children bought or abducted, forced into slavery and transported along the slave routes by plane, truck and camel caravan.
See what happens to those who try to escape and fail; witness the tragic lives of those who can't and who live enslaved.
Not for the faint-hearted or squeamish, this program contains actual events shown in graphic detail.
filename: Le Schiave Esistono Ancora - Slave Trade In The World Today [TVRip Xvid ITA MP3] [by Nameless].avi
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video bitrate: 1020kbps
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frame count: 126749
audio codec: 0x0055 MPEG-1 Layer 3
audio bitrate: 128kbps CBR
audio channels: 2
Audio Tracks: 1 [1-Main Movie]
Next up is the Italian TV broadcast version of the film (as aired on the Mediaset Italia 1 channel), potentially edited down for TV as the AFI states that the original Italian runtime was 90 minutes.
|Il film parte dal presuposto che al mondo esitano ancora forme di schiavitù e va alla loro riceraca concentrandosi soprattutto sull'area geografica mediorientale. Qui la cinepresa si introduce negli harem principeschi, luoghi di destinazione delle moderne schiave. Anche alcune ragazze europee cercano "fortuna" in quei paesi confidando nella loro avvenenza. È un film documentario con vaghe pretese di denuncia sociale. In realtà è diventata una buona scusa per intrufolarsi e sbirciare negli harem arabi. Tant'è che Folco Quilici, coinvolto originariamente nel progetto, tolse la propria firma in polemica con il risultato.|
Why include the two different versions of the flick, and what sets them apart?
First, let's take a look at the picture quality...
The Italian Version (IV) uses a noticeably brighter, full-colored print of the film, while the English Version (EV) is so pathetically washed out as to be borderline black and white at times.
Intermedia/Woodhaven Entertainment released the (an?) English Version of the film first on VHS and later on DVD, and thus seemingly simply transferred their tape master onto the DVD without bothering with any of that pesky ol' remastering.
On the other hand, being a TV broadcast, IV has a semi-transparent '1 Mediaset' watermark throughout the whole film in the bottom right-hand corner of the frame, denoting that the film aired on the Italia 1 channel (part of the Mediaset network).
With regard to cropping, both versions are erratic to say the least, alternating between overcropping various segments of the frame throughout the entire film.
For instance, at the start of the film, EV is heavily overcropped on all four sides.
However, for the bulk of the film, IV is overcropped on the right-hand side (in comparison to EV), while EV is in turn slightly overcropped on the left-hand side, as well as on the top and bottom.
Though there are also times when IV is also overcropped on the bottom of the frame.
Although both versions are thus variously overcropped, IV nonetheless comes out ahead--even despite its ever-present watermark--due to it being a much more color-rich print than the anemic EV.
~ ~ ~
Now turning our attention from image quality to actual film content, both versions feature cuts not in the other version, with the Italian Version containing more gore but less nudity; namely, including various execution scenes but lacking several T&A shots. The Italian Version also includes a portion of the film set in India, which entirely missing from the English Version. Meanwhile, the English Version includes a scene spliced in from Mondo Cane 2, which is not in the Italian Version. Also present are a handful of more minor edits, missing a few shots of a scene here and there (all of which are outlined in full below).
Although both versions are thus variously cut, the Italian Version nonetheless once again comes out ahead due to it containing more original content than the English Version.
Here now is a full-length comparison of the Italian and English Versions:
Format: [time in the Italian Version] (time in the English Version)
[00:00:00] (00:00:00-00:00:41) - The Italian Version (IV) lacks the opening scroll that's present in the English Version (EV). However, towards the end of IV [01:22:33], it does sounds like the narrator is relaying a similar message verbally, and it does have it's own shorter, varying scroll at [00:00:12] (see below).
Note the almost identical similarity with the moralistic intonation in the opening scroll of Drugs: A River of No Return (1986)
: "if it succeeds further in helping to free one human being from slavery, it will have served its purpose and justified the risks"; "If this film saves even one human life from the scourge of drugs, we will have achieved our objective".
[00:00:00-00:01:12] (00:00:41-00:01:59) - IV has Italian opening credits; EV has--can you guess?--that's right, English ones!
IV has a caption screen after the initial title screen, which appears to be a shorter version of the aforementioned EV opening scroll, reading "Un viaggio attraverso l'Africa, l'Arabia, il Medio Oriente e l'India per svelare l'esistenza di una vergognosa piaga del mondo civile: il traffico degli schiavi." ("A journey through Africa, Arabia, the Middle East and India to reveal the existence of a shameful wound of the civilized world: the slave trade.")
Note that while IV credits Roberto Malenotti with filming both the Middle East and India segments, EV only makes mention of the Middle East sequences. Perhaps not coincidentally, the scenes shot in India are entirely missing from EV, though present in IV (see [01:18:44-01:22:45] (01:25:27) below).
EV has two additional credits not in IV: "Narration written by ELIHU WINER" & "Narrator ALLEN SWIFT". Alas, EV credits do not provide us with the name of the guilty party responsible for hacking together the EN version of the film; in order to discern this little factoid we thus turn to The American Film Institute Catalog
, which dutifully lists one Stephen Billings as the "U.S. Vers Ed".
[00:47:23-00:47:51] (00:01:59-00:02:27) - The location of the slavery-related newspaper clippings is changed between the two versions, appearing at the start of the film in EV, and in the middle of the film in IV. The newspapers are also cropped and tilted in EV so as to remove the Italian captioning of English headlines present in IV.
[00:10:49-00:12:23] (00:12:28) - EV is missing the grisliest scene in the film, presumably about the North Yemen Civil War that was flaring at the time of filming, including still shots of public executions, which are still carried out in Yemen in modern times
. It's curious that in Killing for Culture, Kerekes and Slater refer to a later flogging scene in the film as 'decidedly unpleasant', and yet don't mention this execution segment at all; perhaps they only viewed EV.
[00:16:20] (00:16:34-00:16:39); [00:16:51] (00:17:12-00:17:15); [00:16:56] (00:17:21-00:17:35) - IV missing several shots of the actual whipping during the flogging scene. The abridgement is particularly nonsensical not only in light of the fact that IV contains the aforementioned execution photos, but also because not all
of the flogging is excised, only a few snips of it; perhaps exceeding Italian TV's acceptable flogging quota?
[00:18:48] (00:19:30-00:19:36) - IV cuts a brief shot of the bride-whore's tits. As with the previous flogging cut, this exclusion is likewise inconsistent as there are other scenes in IV where breasts can be seen (for instance, [00:14:20; 00:21:17; 00:59:23]), thus there's presumably either a tit quota to go alongside the flogging one, or an inattentive censor at the chopping block.
[00:27:34-00:27:51] (00:28:44-00:29:02) - As with the earlier newspaper sequence, the articles are cropped and tilted in EV.
[00:33:10-33:23] (34:36) - EV missing a few shots of the bar patrons in the pub scene.
[00:43:44-00:43:49] (00:45:23) - IV has intermission cards in the middle of the film. It is customary for Italian films shown in the cinema to be split into two parts, giving the audience a break in the middle. Thus it would seem that the Italian TV broadcast used a theatrical print of the film as its originating source material (though perhaps then abridging it).
[00:51:21] (00:52:45-00:56:18) - EV here splices in a scene of apprehended slave-traffickers and their cargo consisting of horrendously crippled and maimed slave children. The scene, while certainly fitting in with the film thematically not only with regard to the obvious overarching topic of slavery but by further mentioning the United Nations (which, one will recall, is also referenced at the very start of the film), is nonetheless in fact taken from Jacopetti and Prosperi's Mondo Cane 2 (aka Mondo Pazzo), which had come out a year earlier, in 1963. Notably, a couple decades later, the mondo mashup Shocking Africa (1989)--not to be confused with yet another mondo: the Castiglioni brothers' Africa Dolce E Selvaggia (aka Shocking Africa) (1982)--in turn featured pilfered scenes
from The Slave Trade in the World Today, as well as Mondo Cane 2, including, once again, this particular scene.
[00:53:55] (00:58:54-00:59:24) - IV cuts out the mock-whipping portion of the striptease. Apparently the dago censors don't mind images of hung corpses, but deem--not even actual whipping, as in the earlier cut--whipping noises themselves to be objectionable.
[00:59:22] (01:05:05-01:05:17); [00:59:48] (01:05:41-01:05:45) - IV cuts out a couple ass shots of Eve Kenneth and another member of the harem from the home video footage.
[01:18:44-01:22:45] (01:25:27) - EV cuts out the entire portion of the film dealing with India, including naked kiddies sleeping on the street and a funeral pyre.
[01:24:28] (01:27:16-01:28:05) - IV is missing the end credits, ending right after 'Fine' appears on the screen.
Meanwhile, EV end credits make the left-hand overcropping abundantly apparent, as portions of the words are cut off.
Curiously, EV also mentions Longanesi as the publisher of the book the film was inspired by, which is the Italian publisher of the Italian translation of the book, though it was in fact published in English by Crown Publishers.
Speaking of books, we finally come to the tie-in book for the film: The Slave Trade Today, written by Sean O'Callaghan in 1961.
Who the fuck is Sean Fuckin'O'Collaghan?
author bio wrote:
|]Sean O'Callaghan was born in Killavullen, County Cork, on 22 May 1918; educated at Wallstown National School and the Christian Brothers' School, Doneraile, and later at the Military College, Curragh, County Kildare. He was commissioned in 1936 and served in Cork and later in Dublin with the Regiment of Pearse, becoming second in command to Vivion de Valera in 1940 and serving under him in Greystones, County Wicklow.|
On leaving the army he became a journalist in Fleet Street working on the Dispatch, the Chronicle and John O'London's Weekly. In 1952, he went to work on the East African Standard in Nairobi as roving correspondent, covering events in Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Rhodesia and South Africa.
In 1956, after the publication of his first book, The Easter Lily, he became a full-time writer.
Between 1956 and 1992, Sean O'Callaghan wrote fourteen books, many of them of an investigative nature. One, The Slave Trade, dealing with modern slavery in Africa and the Middle East, was translated into thirteen languages and sold in hardback and paperback over 100,000 copies. Malenotti of Rome made a full-length feature film of it.
Included in the books published were two other books on Ireland, The Jackboot in Ireland and Execution. The first part of an autobiography, Down by the Glenside, was published by Mercier Press, Cork, in 1992.
Sean O'Callaghan passed away peacefully at his home in Malta on Sunday 6th August 2000, after living happily for over thirty-five years on the island. A Memorial Service was held in Killavullen Church at 2.00 p.m. on Saturday 26th August 2000.
Unlike tie-in books for other mondos (Brutes and Savages, Africa Addio, Let Me Die A Woman, etc.), The Slave Trade Today was actually written several years prior
to the film; indeed, the film was based on the book, so it's more like a tie-in film than a tie-in book. The dagos responsible for the film likely read the Italian translation of the book, put out by Longanesi & C.
The first part of the tome, detailing Seany boy's personal experiences trolling around Africa to gawk at nubile preteen slave girls and reminiscent of the sensational proto-mondo publishers akin to Falstaff Press
operating during the early part of the 20th century, is deliciously lurid in its description of the various slaves for sale encountered during the author's journeys.
Typical fap fodder reads as follows...
|A young girl glided silently into the room. I stared at her in amazement. She could not have been more than fourteen years old, and but for the pale duskiness of her skin, with her blue eyes and fair hair reaching to her shoulder, she could have been English. She was naked to the waist, her breasts bare. And as she came timidly towards us, she tried to cover them with her hands. But as the fat woman croaked at her in Arabic, her hands dropped to her sides.|
"Tell him I will take five hundred Sudanese pounds for her. Tell him she is the daughter of an English officer and an Arab girl. Tell him I could sell her for twice that sum in Saudi Arabia to the King himself, if I could transport her there. Tell him it is only because she is so nearly white that I cannot take such a risk and so I am prepared to sell her cheaply here."
I could scarcely believe that the old baggage was talking about the lovely child standing demurely in front of me.
Unable to speak, I shook my head. The fat woman rasped out some order to the girl. For a second, the child hesitated and I heard her utter a little gasp that was almost a sob. Then with trembling fingers she fumbled with the fastening of her long white skirt. As it fell to the floor about her ankles, she stepped out of it and stood stark naked before me.
The Sudanese girl came first. She was big and well-developed for her age. Her kinky hair was heavily oiled, and she grinned at us boldly, showing her strong white teeth.
Without waiting for the fat woman's orders she dropped her skirt and walked towards me, swaying her buttocks provocatively. Her skin was the colour of a black grape and gleamed in the lamplight. Her pointed nipples were rouged scarlet.
As I again shook my head, she turned and walked sulkily out of the room.
Then, the Arab girl came in. She was little more than a child and so pitifully thin that her tiny breasts were barely formed. As she let fall her skirt, I stifled a gasp of horror, for I saw the angry red weals of lash-marks across her buttocks.
The second part and third parts--'Slavery Today in Africa and Arabia' and 'The History of Slavery Since its Abolition'--are decidedly more slow-paced, being general historical accounts of the slave trade in the Middle East and Africa (the book deals exclusively with these two regions, though O'Callaghan has also written at least two other slave trade texts: The yellow slave trade: A survey of the traffic in women and children in the East and Damaged Baggage: The white slave trade and narcotics trafficking in the Americas). Nonetheless, these parts serve as essential background reading prior to watching the film so as to help contextualize the often all too fleeting scenes.
Finally, the fourth part is merely a verbatim copy of a report on slavery presented in the House of Lords; otherwise known as filler.
Anyway, here's what the book jacket had to say:
book jacket (Jacket design by Franz Hess; Jacket (cover) photograph from Camera Press--Pix wrote:
|You may be shocked or refuse to believe it, but trade in human beings flows today along established routes from Central Africa through the Sudan and Ethiopia into the Arab countries. The problem reached such proportions that it was debated in the British Parliament in July, 1960.|
Sean O'Callaghan, an Irishman who has traveled extensively through Africa and the Middle East, came upon evidences of slavery in Khartoum. Outraged, he decided to investigate its extent and the practices of the slavers. Endangering his own life, he had astonishing adventures and discovered some shocking facts. He surprised a camel caravan bringing slaves across the deserts of the Sudan. He visited slave traders and attended an auction of slaves. He became aware of the destination of many of the slaves and then verified their placement in brothels throughout the Middle East. He learned that in Saudi Arabia alone the salve population is estimated at 450,000. He found Arab sheiks who sold their children to pay expenses and he found out why young girls and boys birng better prices than adults.
THE SLAVE TRADE TODAY tells O'Callaghan's personal experiences. Mr. O'Callaghan also gives a short history of the slave trade in modern times and, as an appendix, quotes from the Hansard report in the House of Lords on "Slavery in Africa and Arabia."
With regard to the tome's similarity to the film, there are indeed some similar scenes and situations: a slave camel caravan is found in the middle of the desert both by O'Callaghan and by the film directors--despite a slave trader (or 'slaver') in the book later stating that these caravans are no longer the preferred mode of transferring slaves (the preferred method is via aeroplane, and once again both the book and the film include interviews with smuggler pilots), although while the caravan appears in the text enchained, in the film the slave caravan is necessarily devoid of chains to facilitate a comical musical episode.
The Italian Version of the film also includes footage of Bombay's infamous Falkland Road, which is also discussed at length in the text. Other similarities include attributing the prosperous slave trade to the similarly burgeoning oil industry, discussions of 'baby farms' where slaves and whores are specially bred, and last but not least, a weird fascination with the Arab possession of Cadillacs, which both the author and the directors intrinsically view as rightfully belonging solely to the white man.
On the other hand, the film--alas!--does not include nearly as much footage of young slave girls as the book describes :(.
The text was scanned in grayscale @ 300 DPI then OCRed/proofread (though do note that some OCR artefact tupos may still exist, especially with regard to various proper nouns; but on the other hand, several errors that exist in the treeware text have also been fixed up) and dumped into a txtfile for easy viewing.
The English Version of the film is in English, without any subs. The Italian Version is in...Italian, once again without any subs. The eBook is in English, and so is the trailer (w/o subs).
Huge thanks to everyone who contributed to this Compendium: Nameless for the TVRip, PHRENiAC for the DVDRip, and PenileDemon for the Grindhouse Universe trailer compilation, from which the trailer was ripped.
Enjoy the flick!
If ya dig these compendium thingies, be sure to also gank The Brutes and Savages Compendium (1978) [mondo overdose]
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