The film is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Ivan Franko, written in 1892. In his story, the problem of sexual slavery (or “white slavery” in the terms of those times) and women’s engagement as its victims and enablers. The author’s choice of topic must have been influenced by the lawsuits against human traffickers that were actively taking place in Galicia at this time. One of the most high-profile cases was the Lviv trial in 1892 against 27 traffickers (men and women) accused of organizing sexual traffic abroad. The investigation confirmed 29 cases of selling girls from Galicia to brothels in Constantinople, Egypt, and India. The “white slavery” usually depicted women as victims used by “others” (i.e., not their husbands), by Turks (traffic to the Middle East), Spaniards (South America as one of the popular destinations), or Jews, mainly due to their numerical prevalence among traffickers involved in the sex business. Peculiarly, the discourse of others absorbed the responsibility of your own who enabled prostitution in the Austrian Empire. Paradoxically enough, “domestic prostitution” that could obviously engage women through force did not cause any zealous concern from the authorities. And this is although the role of male clients from the middle and upper class was indisputable. They apparently supported prostitution, using the services of prostitutes. Researcher Tracie L. Wilson provided explanations for this selectivity. She pointed out that the discourse about international sex trafficking was, among other things, related to the image of Austria-Hungary. The fact that many prostitutes had Austrian citizenship hurt the imperial prestige, especially in the context of the then Austrian-Turkish relations and the rivalry over control of Southern Europe (here, it should be mentioned that Constantinople was one of the most popular destinations for sex slaves). Therefore, the paternalistic position of the state about the “innocent girls” who needed to be saved came not only from the intention of saving them but also as a response to a loss of face and rapid migration processes, which consequences the state tried to manage independently.
For the Family Hearth, a 1970 film
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