Eden trailer, what kind of film is it?
I've watched a number of very powerful smaller films about the foreign sex trade and they've all been very real, very powerful and very frightening. I've been struck by how emotional they were and how involved I became in their stories, both excellent films but tough to watch.
So when I watched the trailer for Eden I was surprised what a different path it took and wondered whether people behind these other types of films would take to Eden, would they appreciate the dramatic mixed with the terrible hidden story and what would they make of the girl who decides to become a part of the world to survive. Then I found out it was inspired by a true story.
Let's start with the blurb for Eden first:
Eden, a young Korean-American girl, is abducted near her home and forced into prostitution by a domestic human and drug trafficking ring. Throughout the two years she is held, Eden reluctantly ensures her own survival by carving out power and influence within the very organization that has imprisoned her. Inspired by a harrowing true story, Eden peers into the darkest corners of America and attempts to discover the humanity within.
Well I have to say that "inspired by a true story" does mean little. It could be that someone said they had to work for the organisation and look after the girls in order to escape and that inspired the idea for the film, it doesn't mean that what we see in the trailer actually happened.
Watching the trailer for Eden it does look like it mixes a much more dramatic story with the one about sex trafficking, something that so few people want to acknowledge.
I've watched two powerful films about such stories, one called Holly (Filmstalker review) and the other called Evelyn (Filmstalker review), both very powerful films and extremely moving, and they had plenty of drama in them as well as getting the real message out.
My concern about the trailer for Eden is that it looks more dramatic than anything else, and the "inspired by" moniker always concerns me as it suggests trying to sell the film on a true story which the film may not resemble in the slightest, of course that might not be the case here but that tends to be what the use of the phrase means.
Have a look and see what you think of Eden with this trailer through TrailerAddict.
The film stars Jamie Chung in the leading role with Beau Bridges co-starring. It is directed by Megan Griffiths who is credited as the writer with Richard B. Phillips delivering the story and the screenplay and Chong Kim credited for the story as well.
The film has won several festival awards including the audience winner at the San Diego Asian Film Festival and SXSW for the Best Narrative Feature both in 2012, and reading more on the official site it turns out that Chong Kim is in fact the person the film is based upon.
Chong Kim was born in South Korea but moved to the U.S. when she was a toddler and grew up in Oklahoma and Texas. As a teenager and young adult, Chong was a victim of domestic human trafficking. She spent several years in captivity before eventually gaining back her freedom.
Since 2001, Chong has been volunteering her time as a legal advocate around the country promoting human and civil rights. She travels extensively to promote awareness and speak publicly on the topic of human trafficking. Chong uses her personal story to enlighten NGOs and political officials with the goal of strengthening the advocacy for trafficking victims.
It isn't clear how much of this is real, but it would seem that there's more than enough to spread the word about the horrendous human trafficking and sex trade. I do hope it lives up to the strengths of of Holly and Evelyn, it certainly seems as though it has the authenticity to do that.
The film is heading online in April of this year and DVD in June. See it.