Skip to main content

Trade (2007)

Trade. Feature film. (2007, 120 mins) IMDB

...Why do filmmakers make such bleak films...

T

he filmmakers would like you to believe this is the first film to follow the plight of women who are abducted or conned into becoming prostitutes--the sex slave trade into the US. It isn't. I've seen at least one movie on the topic, although the title escapes me at the moment.

Abducted. Conned or duped. Sex slaves. Topics that bring out the dark side of human nature. I wonder why filmmakers want to show it.

An easy answer is to allow us to feel good about ourselves. Look, someone says, I'm glad I'm not in that situation. Maybe. The same argument is made about news in general. It's filled with negative events (wars, fires, murders, accidents...). People read the newspapers and watch the television, day after day, and find comfort from other people's misery. Schadenfreude. I think it's a sad way to live life.

People build themselves up by putting others down. Sad to the nth degree, but it occurs every second we're alive.

But back to this film.

It starts out in Mexico where we meet a young man named Jorge. He has a mother and young sister. His father is nowhere to be seen. He makes a living by conning and robbing tourists. As far as he is concerned, life is good until some Russians abduct his thirteen-year old sister off the street and push her into a sex slave trade headed for New Jersey.

He follows after her and the narrative is in full swing.

Along the way he meets Kevin Kline who plays a Texas cop searching for something that isn't clearly defined until later in the film. They join forces and search for Jorge's sister.

The film shows the brutality of the captors. Rape. Forced drugs. Beatings. Coercion. And if you think it's just dirty old men wanting sex with young girls, there are young boys who are treated just as badly.

The film follows a three-act structure. Sister abducted. Follow her. Meet up with Kline. Arrive in New Jersey. Find the girl. Confrontation to save her and they succeed.

TRADE is not a film one can enjoy. Who can enjoy a rape scene? Who can enjoy a suicide? It's not a film to be a enjoyed. There is a sense of routing for the victim and that develops. Of routing for Jorge to redeem himself because he's the reason his sister is where she is and that develops. But at the end, when the abductor's world crumbles, there is no sense of triumph or relief and I don't understand why.

Posted 2009/03/27 at 20h05ET in Movie Commentary.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Day 5: Writing a Novel—The Deep Blue Hold

Monday, November 21st, 2016 No work on the novel on Day 4. Note: Unedited writings from my notebook for this novel. Square bracket items represent added comments.
At 18:31—Office ... if I use Leänne instead of Leanne how will people react... Y esterday was Sunday and I took it off, plus I was dealing with some mental health issues. I know this story is something that is simply a matter of putting in the time to make it happen. I’m supposed to be working on it as much as I can but I haven’t been doing that. Two main reasons. It’s been a while since I’ve worked on a story. Then there’s the issues of my mental health. Things happen. I get down and it impacts on my writing. I might be using it as an excuse, but it’s clearly something I need to deal with. I have to find a schedule I can work with. Perhaps I need to put this first and cut out other things. Not sure but I will figure it out. A name for the hero came to me. For the moment going with Leanne or is it Leanna? Should be Le…

Writing a Novel: The Deep Blue Hold–Introduction

Thursday, March 9th, 2017 ... I fight my insecurities and doubts and I withdraw farther away from people and life ... I n November 2016 I started work on a new novel with the working title: The Deep Blue Cage. A few weeks after I started, I stopped. I was feeling too depressed about everything including the idea of writing a new novel. It happens to me at various times, with varying degrees, and it is debilitating. The ultimate issue was: Why bother? Why bother write another novel no one will read and no one will care about. I also found I was dreading the writing process more and more. It was painful to think about. I walked away and focused on other things. Or tried to. That didn’t work either. I felt trapped and unsure where I should head, what I should do. I even asked the big question, what the hell is life about anyway. There’s no one answer to this question despite the proclamations of some and because I believe I can think critically, can reason, I look at it from many a…

Day 6: Writing a Novel—The Deep Blue Hold

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016 Note: Unedited writings from my notebook for this novel. Square bracket items represent added comments.
At 20:44—Office ... Lost at sea, she's rescued by a ship and wished she had never set foot on it.... N othing new on this story. Nothing came to me while I was sleeping or when on my errands. I thought something would come about, but nope. So be it. I have two chapters written. Not sure if they are any good but they are there. And so Chp. 3 to write. And I don’t see the scene because I’m not sure what should happen. The question is what is the cliffhanger. Nope. 3 about her, not the ship and crew. And I’ve already written the last line of the chapter. She wakes up and feels immense pain. Not sure if I should mention blood in the water. This chapter or the following. So it’s early dawn or not quite sunrise. And she’s in the cockpit unconscious. But how do I write it from her POV if she’s out. Hmmm. I can do it but should I do it? And I don’t w…