ANNA: Mind Control, Trafficking and Alter Personalities

ANNA (2019) Dir. Luc Besson. 

A reflection, a mirror, a split personality.

The fractured narrative style of Luc Besson’s Anna correlates to the main character’s identity. In one persona, she sells Russian nesting dolls in an open market, a parallel to the woman who, like Besson’s scruffy punk turned killer, Nikita, is taken off the street and is trained to be an assassin herself.  We don’t know the extent to which Anna is programmed or if she responds by mind control triggers imposed  on her during her long indoctrination, but I suspect she’s the Nikita upgrade.  Perhaps she is a new model of mind control perfection, imagining herself to be like a rogue AI, making moves that she thinks are her own.

Anna and reflection before the emergence of her alter assassin persona.

This manufactured terminatrix masquerades as a fashion model and in the first instance we see her skill as an assassin, she has easily infiltrated the modeling world and takes out a mysterious figure who won’t exactly reveal what he does.  He is in ‘imports and exports’ and admits he runs guns, but in this elite world of international sex, it seems obvious that his work includes trafficking in women and that he is a mover within that dark global network.  One can’t resist thinking of Jeffrey Epstein and partner/associate Les Wexner of Victoria’s Secret, who until just recently was CEO, but stepped down as more rumors of evildoing continue to swirl. 

Alter apparent. Total wreck, calm and collected.

The VC rumors are not altogether unfounded as horror stories have been leaking out for years and reaching this trafficking conclusion in Anna is not a leap for anyone who’s poked around a few rabbit holes. With big name photographers being called out as procurers, rapists and extortionists, we know that it’s not all fiction [Think Rachel Chandler or Terry Richardson.].  But Anna is no avenging angel, she is a pawn controlled by opposing agencies.  She is neither this nor that, just another player in a vast network built on the power and profit of human trafficking of which the CIA and KGB, both participate through their uses of Anna herself. 

Symbolism of the “A” shows a split that refers to Anna.

Anna’s programmed dual nature is evident in the modeling agency logo which displays two letter A’s separating from one another and most clearly in the type design of her name and film title which implies that she is but a mirror of something; a reflected reverse image of itself; and maybe after all, just another mind controlled alter personality designed to do what its creators program it to do. 


This review first appeared in the print version of Victims of Cinema. The first 50 reviews can be obtained HERE.

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