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The Trade

The Trade

Photo Credit:  Our Time Projects/Showtime
  • Premiered: 
    February 2, 2018
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Showtime
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Crime
  • Tags: drug

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Plot Synopsis

Directed and executive produced by Matthew Heineman, Season 1 of THE TRADE is a five-part documentary series that explores the opioid epidemic from the perspectives of growers, addicts and law enforcement on both sides of the border. This interwoven narrative transcends the headlines to convey -- with humanity and nuance -- the scope and gravity of the crisis. From Columbus, Ohio to Guerrero, Mexico and countless cities in between, the opioid epidemic has ravaged communities on both sides of the border. But what about the lives behind the headlines and statistics? This docuseries crisscrosses North America while seeking to break through the simplistic and often erroneously counterproductive assumptions surrounding the opioid phenomenon by spotlighting those caught in the crisis: friends and neighbors, sisters and brothers. THE TRADE debuted at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival as an official selection of the special events program, where the first two episodes were screened on January 24. One week later, Showtime broadcast the official series premiere on Friday, February 2, 2018 at 9pm ET/PT.

THE TRADE returned for its four-episode second season on Friday, March 6, 2020 at 9pm ET/PT on Showtime, shortly after its first screening at Sundance on Tuesday, January 28. Season 2 follows Central Americans on an odyssey to the United States (and others heading back home after being deported), while also delving into the shadow industries that prey on them at every step along the way. By shedding light on the smugglers and traffickers who take advantage of the migrant's vulnerability, and law enforcement pursuing them at the border, THE TRADE takes audiences inside the rarely seen underbelly of the migrants' world, and humanizes their struggle to survive.
On Friday, March 27, 2020 at 9pm ET/PT, Showtime premiered the Season 2 finale of THE TRADE. Magda and Rossni cross into the United States, but must now figure out how to manage their asylum case and support themselves. Sochil becomes increasingly worried about her family's safety and questions whether the Mexican government will ever take action against La Luz del Mundo. A pastor in Honduras attempts to broker a truce between MS-13 and a rival gang at great risk to his personal safety. Juana, a grandmother in Santa Barbara with six kids, faces deportation back to Mexico after living in the U.S. for 20 years.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Our Time Projects