I AM SLAVE traces Malia journey, a young woman from the countryside of Sudan, as she’s she is sold into modern day slavery in London, kept as a housekeeper against her will by a brutalizing master.

Trapped behind the gates of her home, Malia tries in vain to gain her independence, even escaping at one point only to find herself with nowhere to go.

This is an “issue” film, and while it explores a subset of British society that is in desperate need of illumination, the film is too earnest, to polemical to do it effectively. With an excellent pedigree from the filmmakers, it seems the material got the better of them, and they were forced to rely on overly simplistic narrative elements to tell the tale. Slaves themselves to convention, the manipulative movie masks what could have been an extremely effective examination of this sordid modern brutality.