I was pleasantly surprised by this movie! It is difficult to portray a topic as serious as human sex trafficking without being either harsh and graphic or sappy and melodramatic but A Dance for Bethany, does an excellent job of balancing tragedy with hope. This is a story that we have, unfortunately, become familiar with. Bethany, a pre-teen, runs away from a home where she is not being protected into a world where “protection” means servitude and abuse. But, Bethany has a dream of being a dancer and a memory of her mother singing “Jesus Love Me”. With those small hopes and the help and encouragement of a reporter, Abbey, she is able to escape her captors and move toward healing and a life of freedom.
The screen play was written by Yvonne Williams, co-founder, with her husband, and president of Network for Cultural Change (formerly Trafficking In America Task Force, Inc.). Her passion is to create a culture free of slavery and sexual exploitation and her experience with sex trafficking and the survivors has enabled her to present a picture that is true to life. My only criticism is that much of the background story comes during the opening credits and the process of healing and restoration seems much easier in the movie than it actually is. But then, the DVD is 1 hour and 44 minutes, hardly enough time to present all the aspects of this complex problem. Ms. Williams has also written a book of the same name that expands on Bethany’s story.
A Dance for Bethany, was well portrayed, with engaging characters and true to the subject without being graphic or using profanity. While it is rated PG-13, and I wouldn’t suggest any presentation on human sex trafficking be presented to a group without pre-screening, it might be a useful resource for youth groups and Bible study groups.