My heart is really heavy.
There was a film that I was assigned to review named Trade, this summer. The film didn’t do well and wasn’t released nationally so I had to wait until it’s DVD release.
Trade was released on DVD this week, and so it was with eagerness that my friend, her husband and I sat down to watch it. Having extensive experience in dealing with survivors of sexual abuse, we expected a movie which would advocate for them. We knew it’s content was of that nature… With sexual abuse being so often swept under a rug because the world, in majority, still cares about their discomfort when dealing with it- I was ready to see a film released to raise awareness…

And this is when the film person in me has to step up and ask: how much is too much?

Scenes of men in bushes with children; a very blatant rape scened shot cold and honestly… I am that Christian who defends the films, at times, for the “offensive” material they carry. When someone complains about “S**t” of “F**K” being in a film that is intense and action packed, I point out that the bad guy wouldn’t seem so bad if suddenly he yelled “Grab your shoot and shut the flippin heck up!”
I can be the overly tolerant one, at times…
The more liberal one…

And yet this movie made me squirm and cringe. A lot. This movie made all three of our hearts ache, and the general consensus was this:
– this was never intended to be the movie that everyone walks away from, saying “i really loved this movie!”
– this movie was made for awareness purposes.
– this movie is gritty and raw, and as horribly painful as it is to watch- it likely doesn’t touch the real surface of what the sex trade industry, it’s workers or it’s victims lives are like…

But again, still, after my review is written and submitted- I have to ask: how much is too much?
In the name of awareness… In the name of an abuse which is still so much a secret… In the name of ruined children, crime, hatred and brutality— how much enactment is too much?
It’s been over 24 hours since I saw this movie, and my regular every day life has moved on. But my heart is still there, watching. Remembering. Aching.

11 thoughts on “Trade…

  1. I don’t know. Really, I don’t. I don’t watch movies that stay with me like that, color my days heavy gray, anymore — But I don’t have your job, Misty.So I will just send soothing thoughts your way.There’s a soothing post over at my blog. My recent posts have been kind of ranting about unschooling, so time for a pretty one. :)Good thoughts to you! (Can you feel them, like sunshine?) xxx

  2. My guess is that the images in that film will stay with you for a long time! So imagine the trauma for abused children and the sad thing is even with all the publicity about abuse we cannot make the world a completely safe place for our children.

  3. Chris~ I agree whole heartedly… As a sexual abuse victim myself, while men are imprisoned for two to five years, a victim has a life sentence. This is what I meant by it being an awareness film… I guess I wonder about the kids in this movie, enacting certain things… and I just wonder, at what line is it best not to cross when trying to push your point? For example- you can imply a rape just as successfully as filming out an entire one. Neither is more effective…

  4. *hug*I felt like that after watching “Little Children”… and compared to your description of this film, it was pretty tame. Watch one or two of your favorite films over again to try and get some better images into your brain….

  5. Laura~ I am headed to your blog now! I need the peace! Maggie~ YES! I did too, with that movie… Everytime I see a public pool I think of when he went there… ugh…

  6. I feel ya on the “too much” stuff.When I was in college, my World Literature prof wanted us to read a book about the tribal people of New Zealand – his home country. After a few chapters, I couldn’t take it any more because it was so graphic and vulgar.I told him in a written response that I didn’t think I needed to have all the gory details in order to realize that the life they lived was a hard and sad one. He didn’t agree and made a public announcement to the class to make sure everyone knew that you must read such things in order to understand.I still disagree.

  7. Hi Misty — Oh, geez — I changed the pretty song on my blog from Nora Jones’ sweet “Seven Years” to the blaring, strident “Ride of the Valkyries”! I was looking at that sweet Warrior Princess photo of Hay’s little one, and “Die Walkure” was on Live at the Met on NPR today, and I thought, hmm, Warrior Princess, Valkyrie — ! And changed the music! Not so soothing — it’ll make you jump out of your skin! I’m sorry. Nora Jones is still on the playlist, just further down. Have a good rest-of-the-day. :)

  8. I dont even know where to begin on this topic, so I dont think I will. It breaks me. I will just say that I am sending thoughts your way.

  9. Fascinating discussion. I find that my movie and TV watching habits are severely curtailed by the fact that I just cannot abide by any kind of gory, violent imagery. Real life is depressing enough. Like I need to see images of people being blown up and tortured and raped and God knows what else. No thank you!! This is a rule that I never break — anything that contains this kind of images, I don’t watch it. Period. I can’t handle it, particularly since I became a mom. And for what it’s worth I think the people that get their jollies out of watching these torture porn movies, like the “Saw” movies, have some kind of very serious mental illness. How can people be that lacking in empathy that they find this kind of thing entertaining?

  10. I completely agree! I don’t understand how people can stand the Saw movies, or similar. I enjoy a good suspenseful film, but even tv shows like CSI and the like… people get so upset that i won’t tune in, but I just think that real life is depressing enough. And really, should be give the sick people looking for suggestions, any?

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