Review written on: September 30th, 2007

Trade Review

Sex trafficking is very touchy subject that not too many films have the courage to dive into. While many of us don?t have the heart or strength to stomach something like this, I think that it’s important to become aware that this practice is still ongoing. This film is just a glimpse into the real-life horror of it.

Thirteen-year-old Adriana (Paulina Gaitan) lives near Mexico City, with her mother and brother. After bringing his sister a bicycle for her birthday, much to his mother’s chagrin, the secret life of Jorge (Cesar Ramos) is revealed. He is a low-level hood who cheats and robs tourists along with his two wannabe hood friends.

Then we are taken to the airport in Mexico City, where two Polish girls are brought into the country, through a special agency. While they are being told that this is the easiest way for them to get transported to the States, the people that accompany them then take away their passports and force one of them into a car, thus giving us a hint of their true intentions.

Time to go back to Mexico. Against her mother’s wishes, Adriana rides her new bike and is followed by a black car. You can kind of guess where it?s going from here, when she is subsequently kidnapped. Until Jorge finds another child riding her abandoned bicycle, he had no clue what happened.

These two plots intertwine, and we are then shown how these people are treated while they are in captivity. They are kept in hiding, hauled around like cattle, and sold to deviant people for their own personal use. That?s the mildest way that I can put it. As the oldest of hostages, and a mother, Veronica (Alicja Bachleda-Curus), the girl kidnapped outside the airport, has become the protector, ?offering? herself in order for the others to be temporarily spared.

While Jorge is trying to find Adriana and is dealing with legal standstills, he meets Ray Sheridan (Kevin Kline), a Texas police officer who has been traveling throughout Mexico in much of the same areas that Jorge has gone to. Now, Ray’s life is pretty complicated and he has his own agenda. Nevertheless, he is determined to help, often in an unconventional manner. Because Jorge has been given the runaround in his rescue operation, you can bet that he is initially distrustful of any authority figure.

Don?t expect to be spared much in the disturbance and shock department. This is no laughing matter, so it wasn?t portrayed lightly. Nor should anyone take it that way either. Throughout the film, you are waiting for something worse and worse to happen, with no end in sight. It was heartbreaking and tragic. What’s even more so, are the statistics listed at the end of the film. Suffice to say, it’s a very important topic that needs to have as much attention paid to it as possible, so I do recommend that you see it. Another film that depicts these deplorable happenings was Lifetime’s 2005 movie, Human Trafficking , which was definitely more graphic and violent. Your heart and soul, as did mine, will ache, regardless which film you choose to see.


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