Lured by promises of a better life.
Anna Kuntsman‘s CATHERINE THE GREAT (2011) is a 5-minute animated short film that features a young woman Yekaterina, or Catherine, who lives in a small, impoverished community of Moldova where life is hard. Her father is an alcoholic, and only her mother works and her wages are barely enough to keep them fed. One day, Catherine notices an advertisement for young ladies to go and work overseas with the elderly and small children. Seizing the opportunity to help care for her family, Catherine travels to Israel to find work. Catherine is amazed by the city. The tall buildings were like nothing she saw before. Imagining the opportunity to earn a wage to help care for her family. When she finally arrives in Tel Aviv along with other girls like her, she was taken into a large building and into a room where a strange man was there already waiting for her.
He asked Catherine if she knew why she was there, and she told him. Almost immediately, every hope for caring for her family was erased when she realized the real reason she was in Tel Aviv–to work as a sex slave. Lured by promises of a better life, thousands of girls like Catherine are trafficked in Israel every year. Catherine The Great just may be the most touching animated film I have ever seen.
In her feature debut, Kuntsman, created a very realistic and emotional portrayal of an unsuspecting young woman who embarks on a journey that would change her life forever. With the use of brilliantly colored cut-out animation and immersive watercolor backdrops, Kuntsman unique style of animation captures the sad, and unfortunate realities of human trafficking.
Anna Kuntsman is an independent designer and creator with a degree in visual communications from the Holon Institute of Technology, Israel. Kuntsman currently works as a motion graphics designer and illustrator.
Catherine The Great is an animated short included on Film Movement‘s Year 10, Film 9 DVD Off White Lies (2011), a film by Maya Kenig and is currently available only to subscribers.