With a recovery rate of 1 percent, Human trafficking (majorly women) is one of the most under-investigated crimes. Most cases are dropped on the investigation due to their connections with political ministers and white-collar businessmen. Only the victim understands the pain of being tortured and being captivated. I Am All Girls is a tale of a victim-turned-vigilante who sworn to kill all those who tormented her and “all the girls.”
The film is set in South Africa. It tries to solve the ongoing sex trafficking issue in its heartland. The country is linked to many middle eastern countries for supplying girls in exchange for Oil and other resources. I Am All Girls builds its narrative upon the lines, “when the law becomes unlawful, outlaws become Heroes.”
‘I Am All Girls’ Summary
Inspired by true events, the narrative revolves around Gert de Jager, a South African offender who was imprisoned in 1994. He was charged with the abduction of six girls. None of them were ever found. In a recorded tape, Gert de Jager confessed to kidnapping these girls under the instructions of a National Party Cabinet Minister. He smuggled those girls to Middle East countries like Iran in exchange for Oil. However, this tape was never released by The Aprthied Government and Gert de Jager was killed soon after his confession.
In present-day Johannesburg, South Africa, DPCI (Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation) officer, Jodie Snyman is profusely carrying out human trafficking raids but with little to no results. The operation is tight on resources and is on the verge of shutting down when suddenly they find a slaughtered white male with initials carved on his body. Further investigation reveals that the body belonged to Cabinet Minister, Oupa who was also on the National Register for sex offenders. Jodie finds some hidden tapes in Oupa’s garage and concludes that he was a pedophile who assaulted his own granddaughter. The initials on his dead body, T.S.C links to Tarrynlee Shaw Carter who was one of the six missing girls abducted by Gert de Jager. Oupa is hinted to be the same cabinet minister against whom Gert de Jager witnessed.
The case gets more complicated when more bodies with similar initials start surfacing. The killing method in each one is similar. Jodie assumes the killing to be a work of a vigilante on the run who is taking revenge for those six missing girls. However, with the help of the hooded killer, Jodie uncovers a syndicate of sex trafficking cartels thus cleaning the society by unlawful means.
Major Spoilers Ahead
‘I Am All Girls’ Ending Explained
Jodie finds Gert de Jager recorded tape in her assistant, Ntombizonke Bapai’s flat. She connects the dots finally concluding that Ntombizonke is the hooded killer. Through Gert’s tape, Jodie finds out about a farm in Brakpan from where the Syndicate was run by FJ Nolte (Deon Lotz), the cabinet minister about whom Gert was actually talking about.
Out of 6 girls kidnapped by Gert, FJ Nolte only smuggled 5. He kept Ntombizonke (child) and assaulted her. Jodie learns that Brakpan has an airstrip from where girls are sold directly to potential buyers without conflicting the secured routes. She drives to Brakpan and finds dead bodies of Khan brothers, the shipping transporters who were smuggling girls in large numbers and were earlier captured by Jodie.
In Brakpan, Jodie spots an incoming plan. A close visual reveals that FJ Nolte is out to sell another six girls to an Iranian Sheikh, who arrives there on his charter plane. Jodie tries to intercept but fails. She loses an investigating officer along with Ntombizonke.
In the end, Jodie continues the legacy of Ntombizonke and wears the hood of a vigilante herself. She kills FJ Nolte in his house and marks his chest with Ntombizonke’s initials (similar to her revenge rituals). Jodie boards a plane to Iran to finish off the remaining culprit, The Iranian Sheikh.
Suspended from the force, Jodie is a suspected criminal but after the death of FJ Nolte, her commanding officer neglects any connection. Jodie becomes the free vigilante who accepts “when the law becomes unlawful, it is time to become an Outlaw.”
Based on True Events, I Am All Girls depicts the horrors committed by aristocrats, on their own people. Many international governments aren’t bothered about Human trafficking issues because in many cases, administrative interest is involved. Like in I Am All Girls, the Apartheid Government was offered Oil in exchange for women by the Iranian Sheikh. The arrangement is both inhumane and horrifying and no court of law would be able to justify the harm caused to these innocent souls. The film depicts the exact emotions of distress and suffering through Jodie and Ntombizonke.
Advocating violence is not a way out. But a time will come when we will be left with no option but to fight back. In those moments, anarchists, outlaws, and artists have to make a choice, whether to hit back on the system or sit back and do nothing. Jodie made her choice, she decided to fight from the other side of the law.
Narratively, the film ends on a rebellious note. However, it had its ups and downs. The crescendo builds for a moment but it quickly fades away. The emotions are strong but at points, the film fails to convey them. Both its female protagonists have done an excellent job. Attending the intimate details, Cinematographer Trevor Calverley maintains the visual thrills. In my opinion, better treatment of the screenplay could have pumped the dull-mids of the film. But in totality, the film delivers its message with grace.
Directed by Donovan Marsh, I Am All Girls is a 2021 crime drama film based on true events. The film is streaming on Netflix.
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