I Am All Girls review – a gritty revenge thriller on sex trafficking

By Daniel Hart
Published: May 14, 2021 (Last updated: January 26, 2024)
Netflix film I Am All Girls


This film is a satisfactory experience, and despite straying towards generic thriller tropes, it has its important messages.

This review of the Netflix film I Am All Girls contains no spoilers — the thriller was released on the streaming service on May 14, 2021. 

“In 1994, Johannesburg, South Africa, Gert de Jager abducted six who were never found. After his arrest, he confessed on tape. The Apartheid government refused to release it.” That’s the opening line in I Am All Girls, enticing the audience in with a story inspired by true events. From the opening minutes, the audience is adorned with grittiness, with a downbeat soundtrack murmuring under the scenes — there’s no denying what the audience is in for.

However, it does skirt along the lines of a typical detective story, even if the subject matter and theme raises significant awareness. It mainly follows Jodie (played by Erica Wessels), a special crimes investigator that has a hunch; after a series of kills, she suspects the serial killer is dropping hints to help authorities bring down a global child sex trafficking syndicate.

What truly entices the audience is the skepticism she faces; we’ve seen it all before — a wearisome, exhausted investigator that looks flagrantly mad when she “joins the dots” and her leaders frown at the idea and slyly suggest “a break” or psychiatric help. However, the cynicism is not entirely sold; the murdered men she is finding have gruesome and bloody initials etched onto their stomachs, and they are linked to a child sex trafficking syndicate in some way. It’s abundantly clear there’s an intrinsic link.

Netflix’s I Am All Girls relies on the audience’s support; you root for Jodie as she unearths a horrific world of heinous crimes and greed. However, it’s a shame the film makes it transparent who the serial killer is and their motive, as it takes away that “thriller” aspect, and it becomes more of a cat and mouse adventure.

Circling back to the themes, I Am All Girls truly understands what is at stake in the world of child sex trafficking and the terror that is systemized in areas of the world. It’s a reminder of what’s at stake that despite ridding the terrors of historical slavery, it comes in many different fashions and forms that we cannot ignore in today’s world. The director  Donovan Marsh purposefully makes it as murky as possible; the film’s delivery ensures that the audience understands how impactful these syndicates are and how they can truly have a toll on those trying to track them down.

This film is a satisfactory experience, and despite straying towards generic thriller tropes, it has its important messages.

Movie Reviews, Netflix