Skip to main content

Trade (2007)

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

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


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.


Popular posts from this blog

Day 109: Writing a Novel—The Deep Blue Hold

Sunday, March 6, 2017 Note: Unedited writings from my notebook for this novel. Square bracket items represent added comments.
At 18:47 Office ... I barely remembered anything about this story... H as it really been three months? I guess it has. I put it out of my mind [so much so] that I barely remembered anything about this story. Not even the title. [Unreal!!!!!!] I had the general premise and an ending—enough I thought for a novel. What I lacked was a determination and desire to want to write it. Why bother… I wasn’t enjoying the process and I had no reason to believe the result wouldn’t be anything more than what’s gone before—nothing.
James Piper Kitchener, Ontario Post comments on facebook page. Follow me on twitter. Posted 2017/04/14 at 14h02ET in The Deep Blue Cage | Writing A Novel

Words: Fairy—Ferry

Thursday, September 6, 2012
A homonym.
FAIRY—A fairy tale. A fairy godmother. Fairy—not a long, long way to run.
FERRY—A boat or ship to transport drunken Swedes back home from Copenhagen. It’s the Danish beer.
Fairy Ferry Samantha the Swimming Fairy by Daisy Meadows Evening Ferry by Katherine Towler
Posted 2012/09/06 at 5h02ET in Words, Writing.

Day 2: Writing a Novel—The Deep Blue Hold

Friday, November 18th, 2016 Note: Unedited writings from my notebook for this novel. Square bracket items represent added comments. ... There’s also poetic justice for this crew for what they did to the women they kept.... I t’s still Friday to me. [Writing early Saturday morning.] I wasn’t in bed until 6h and up at 14h. Then lots of errands. Lots of walking. Felt tired earlier—something different. I haven’t spent much time thinking about this story. I seemed to have put my mind into another lane. Not what I want. I was thinking too much about my future as a successful writer. Not simply being a writer, but a successful writer. One that makes a good living off or from it. That’s a better goal. So what to say about this story. No title. Oh. I did decide on something. She can’t die. Too much of a downer. That would seem to rule out a revenge aspect by the husband. Maybe she does it. These guys [the baddies] have to get it in the end. I was thinking about how she wants to sink the s…