Many stories have been told about the ills of the apartheid era in South Africa with the dominating theme being segregation. However, “I Am All Girls” delves into a different the issue. The mystery thriller is a disheartening story about child abuse and human trafficking. And it is made even more poignant by the fact that it is based on true events.
The film is set in post-apartheid South Africa and the cast includes Erica Wessels in the lead role as detective Jodie Snyman, Deon Lotz better know for his role in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; Mothusi Magano and Hlubi Mboya who portrayed Nandipha Sithole in the soap opera Isidingo.
As detective Jodie tries to uncover some mysterious killings, she discovers that the deaths are linked to a long running child-trafficking ring. The investigations reveal that the events which led to the deaths occurred in the 1990s leading her to a human trafficking syndicate.
She is able to rescue several children from the very inhumane treatment they had suffered at the hands of their traffickers. However, she is frustrated by the murderer. The murderer seems a step ahead of Jodie every time, and so, out of her grasp. It seems her investigation is compromised and the killer could be someone close. Jodie must damn all consequences to find the killer.
“I Am All Girls” is one of those thrillers that leave the viewer conflicted between choosing self-administered justice over good conscience, and vice versa. The system does not protect victims. The culprits are both powerful and untouchable. Law enforcement agencies are under-funded so resources must be proritised and that means some important cases get overlooked.
The film is also formulaic. The case is closed, the detective is sent on a compulsory holiday but the detective is headstrong and has been consumed by the case so continues with the investigation until they can prove their bosses wrong. Yet, it is emotional and absorbing until the revelation of the villain. The unveiling of the villain to the audience happened too quickly. Consequently, it detracts from the mystery of the story which would have made it much more enjoyable. Nonetheless, “I Am All Girls” is a worthy-watch. You should check it out on Netflix.