Eden (film): A good film mired in controversy
Eden is the story of a young Korean-American who was abducted from her family and was a victim of human trafficking for several years. It is an entertaining look into how this industry can be so incredibly widespread, even in a country as policed as the United States.
I didn't know the film was meant to be based on a true story when i was watching it.
The film follows Hyun Jae (played wonderfully by Jamie Chung) who is spotted and abducted from a party and wakes up in captivity where there are many other girls. They are "trained" to accept their new life working in forced prostitution. Due to good behavior and compliance, Hyun Jae is eventually given more freedom and actually becomes a part of the problem or rather, a part of the illegal operation rather than a captive of it. Well, this isn't entirely true, she still can't come and go as she pleases, but she no longer has to do the sex-work stuff.
The movie presents the sex trafficking industry in a completely different light than one would expect. It seems extremely organized and the girls involved are tricked or conditioned into behaving like their handlers want them to rather than just being shackled all the time. I wouldn't say it glamorizes it, but it certainly makes it look far more well-funded and managed than i would have expected.
The film was based on the true story of Chong Kim as she claimed that this is what happened in her life. She managed to set up and be involved with multiple charities and made a bunch of money off of being a spokesperson and of course, a book and this movie. The problem was that many of the charities decided to distance themselves from her because she was accused of grossly exaggerating her story, and even making large portions of it up.
One particular non-profit organization said they "found no truth to her story. In fact, we found a lot of fraud, lies, and most horrifically capitalizing and making money on an issue where so many people are suffering from." She was also found guilty of felony theft by swindle and to be honest with you I didn't even know that was a thing.
Regardless, the film is a good one and there is no doubt in my mind that human trafficking definitely exists. Separate yourself from the the fact that the girl's story might be partially or completely false and it is still a good movie that is worth seeing.
I enjoyed it and found it entertaining from start to finish.