Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Shirley Blango, Gerry Mendigino
Director: Jim Purdy
Genres: Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Peace Arch Home Entertain Release Date: 08/08/2006
ENTERTAINING & REVEALING
A. Falcon | Brooklyn, NY | 12/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Foreign Bodies" opens with a police raid of an Asian brothel. The scene then cuts to a police station, where a detective questions one of the prostitutes, Chanida (nicknamed "Joy"), played by the leading actress Shirley Blanco. The officer's objective is to obtain information that would lead to an indictment of the ringleaders. At first Chanida is reluctant to even say a word, but gradually she opens up to the detective, whose goodwill and gentle persistence help allay her fears. From here the movie unfolds as a series of flashback sequences, as Chanida recounts her ordeal as a sex slave sent to Canada from her native Philippines.
Based on actual events, the movie calls attention to the harsh lives led by poor, underprivileged Asian girls forced into prostitution by greedy, ruthless men, who often threaten to kill their families if they dare decide to flee. Chanida arrives in Canada as a naive young virgin, but things quickly change for her once she is whisked off to the brothel. Her first client, a corpulent middle-aged gambler, eagerly pays one thousand Canadian dollars for the thrill of deflowering her. But this is only the beginning for Chanida, as one john after another visits the whorehouse to have sex with her, often preferring her to the more experienced prostitutes.
Fortunately the movie is interspersed with humorous scenes. One such moment occurs when Chrissie, Chanida's closest friend at the brothel, attempts to define certain sexual terms for Chanida. The results are hilarious. The girls joke about the johns and even poke fun at each other. In addition to providing comic relief, these instances demonstrate that the girls try to cope with their plight as lightheartedly as they can in an effort to keep their spirits up. There is a fair amount of nudity and sex here, and some violence as well--all fully warranted, given the context.
Blanco's acting is commendable. Chanida's broken English, however, is an unconvincing attempt to mimic the English spoken by an unschooled Filipino girl (English is one of the official languages of the Philippines, used largely in education, government, and commerce). Nevertheless, if one can forgive such a flaw, it won't be difficult to appreciate the movie's praiseworthy effort to portray the horrors of coerced prostitution, a deplorable but common situation affecting many young women and girls in countries the world over.
The full-frame picture is decent, although by today's standards it falls somewhat short. Colors are slightly muted, and the images, though clear, are a little soft. The Dolby stereo sound is unremarkable.
Two Criminal 'Pimps.' Not Just One
Artist & Author | Near Mt. Baker, WA | 01/27/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One leaves viewing this movie feeling that the Canadian authorities are nearly as criminal as the thugs that run the brothel where the young girls are being forced into prostitution. After spending the whole movie with a detective drawing out Chanida's story to be able to prosecute the men involved, she is sent back to her home country. Not to a better life, but to face the part of the gang in her home country that sold her into prostitution, only this time in much worse conditions than in Canada. In short, both the pimps and the police were interested in Chanida only to serve their own purposes, not hers. But then, maybe that is the whole point of the movie.
The single aspect of the movie that didn't ring quite true to me was to have a male detective interviewing her. I think it would virtually always have been a woman officer who would deal with a teen girl involved in commercial, criminal sex. (Maybe if they had a woman talking to her, she would have tried to find a way to protect Chandia.) There is quite a bit of nudity of fifteen-year-old Chandia (she is called 'Joy' by the people in the brothel), full, sexually related nudity. It doesn't come close to being pornographic, but it is realistically depicted prostitute nakedness. The language isn't as bad as what one might expect from such people.
This isn't a great movie, but it certainly is worth watching, especially if one likes movies about the dregs of society. Or, if one wants to see a movie about a teen who has no hope of improving her situation (thanks to the insensitivity of some immigration laws). It is important to also remember that this movie is based on an actual case of one living, Filipino teen."