Child-trafficking documentary screening, panel discussion Oct. 5

Playground film director Libby Spears and local experts will serve as panelists

Playground, a film on child trafficking in the United States, will be screened at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5, in Steinberg Hall auditorium. A panel discussion featuring Libby Spears, the film’s director, and local experts will follow the documentary.

In Playground, Spears examines the U.S. role in the commercial child sex industry. The story of the search for Michelle, an American girl lost to the underbelly of childhood sexual exploitation who has yet to resurface, is threaded throughout the documentary.

George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Steven Soderbergh are executive producers of the film, which includes animation by Japanese pop artist Yoshitomo Nara.

In addition to Spears, panel discussion participants are:

  • Margie Batek, social worker at St. Louis Children’s Hospital;
  • Suzanne LeLaurin, senior vice president for children and families at the International Institute of Saint Louis; and
  • Sgt. Mickey Owens, commander with the Sex Crimes Unit of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

The screening and panel discussion are sponsored by the Brown School, the Program in Film and Media Studies in Arts & Sciences, the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program in Arts & Sciences.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Abby Howard at

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