This is the second film recently that Movie Ramble has seen on the way women are treated, both are based on true stories! The Frozen Ground (2013) showed them as defenceless fodder for a serial killer. With Eden (2012) women are shown as objects for human trafficking, be it for sex or domestic
slavery, either way giving no respect to their gender.
Eden is based on a true story about Chong Kim, the films co-writer, who was born in South Korea but moved to the USA when she was a small child, growing up in a tight knit family unit. When she was a teenager she become the victim of human trafficking when she was abducted near her home in New Mexico and forced into prostitution by a domestic human and drug trafficking ring located outside the bright lights of Las Vegas, Nevada. The organisation is very well coordinated sending the girls out on assignments as requested by their many clients. Eden’s first task was to take part in the making of a porno movie that involved flagellation. Her second job was giving her client a blowjob which comes to an abrupt end when she bites through his penis and makes a break for freedom, only to get caught and punished by being placed in a empty bath and covered in ice! Following this incident the story moves on 12 months. We now see a different Eden, one that reluctantly ensures her own survival by carving out a niche in the organisation giving her a certain amount of power and influence knowing full well that clients only like young girls and not one that is almost twenty, bearing in mind that girls that are past there sell by date are normally taken out to the desert, killed and dumped in unmarked graves.
This grim but moving story is told from Eden’s prospective and shows how she manages to survive this horrendous ordeal by collaborating with her captors. It shows how she has the mental strength to make choices that will hopefully lead to her freedom and a return to her family. What makes this film even more shocking is that most of the victims are ‘lost’ children these are the kids that are allowed to become homeless and live on the streets, the one’s you see in all big cities anywhere in the world which is a disgrace to humankind. The movie also highlights that the criminals involved in this human misery are also concerned in dealing drugs, the sale of new-born babies and the manufacture of false passports.
Director Megan Griffiths could have made this compellingly profound story as a documentary, but I feel that the story is more engaging as a feature film. This honest attempt to tell an important story should not be ignored but you must stomach the fact that even in the darkest corners of human depravity without a client base there would be no call for human trafficking either domestic or international!!!
There is a postscript to this story. Since 2001 Chong Kim has been volunteering her time as a legal advocate around the country promoting human and civil rights. She travels extensively to promote awareness and speaks publicly on human trafficking. In 2006, she received an award from the National Campaign for Tolerance honouring her public stands against hate, injustice and intolerance.