Stephanie Wang-Breal did not set out to make another social issue film, but when she stumbled on a New York Times article about a Queens courtroom that treated sex workers as victims rather than criminals, her documentary filmmaker instincts kicked in.
Set primarily inside the courtroom and the hallways right outside, “Blowin’ Up” follows the daily proceedings of the country’s first court dedicated to changing the way the justice system handles and views prostitution charges.
Even its name, the Queens Human Trafficking Intervention Court, is an effort to connect the dots for lawmakers that some sex workers are victims of human trafficking.
According to the Center for Court Innovation, “rather than fines and jail time, new approaches are addressing the problems — such as trauma, abuse, and drug addiction — that force many adults and children to engage in prostitution.”
Read the story at IndieWire.
Receive the day’s documentary news every morning. Sign up for DocumentaryNews Daily.