31 January 2008 | gradyharp
The Dirty Little Secret of International Sex Slave Trade: A Wake-up Call
Based on an article written by Peter Landesman, who also wrote the story and co-wrote the screenplay with Jose Rivera ('The Motorcycle Diaries'), TRADE literally forces us to experience the cruel, vicious international market for sex slaves. It is brutally captured on film by director Marco Kreuzpaintner ('Summer Storm') in a manner that spares nothing to unveil the atrocities created by the many people form all countries who ply this trade. It is a tough film to watch, but it is also an important film to see: the public MUST be made aware of this criminal activity that robs the lives of children and adults around the globe.
The setting is Mexico City and in the poor sector lives a fatherless family supported by the oldest son Jorge (Cesar Ramos) whose 'occupation' is petty crime that allows him to bring in money for his mother and his beloved sister Adriana (Paulina Gaitan). We see the abduction of a beautiful young Polish girl Weronica (Alicja Bachleda-Curus) in the Russian sector of the city. Soon after Adriana, trying out her newest bicycle gift from Jorge, is likewise abducted. The girls (and boys) are kept in filthy apartments awaiting border crossings into the US where they will be shipped to New Jersey for sale after being advertised for auction on the Internet. Jorge discovers the absence of his sister, traces her to the Russian sector where he sees the filth in which the victims are kept, but where he also encounters a Texas policeman Ray Sheridan (Kevin Kline) who is continuing his years long search for his daughter. The two 'meet' and join in the chase for the lost girls. And it is the manner in which Jorge and Ray gradually become friends and the clever way in which they cooperate that forms the rest of the story.
Yes, the film is overlong and borders a bit too closely on soap opera techniques, but the acting is so committed and the story is news so important that any flaw in the film can be forgiven because it opens the door to a crime that is all too unfamiliar to most citizens. It is a true story and therein lies the terror. It should be seen. Grady Harp