Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Movies and My Life

11:23 PM

I’m such a movie freak. Movies are seriously one of my favorite things. And as a result, I get real excited when I can go somewhere a movie was filmed! I did this in New York, in L.A., and even in Savannah, GA. I don’t even really know why it’s so exciting. But for some reason it is!

Hello Rodeo Drive!

Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, CA, seen in Some Like it Hot

Yummy Serendipity Cafe, as seen in the movie Serendipity

Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, NYC, seen in One Fine Day [and more!]

Trinity Church, NYC, seen in National Treasure

Mercer-Williams home, featured in Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil

Washington Monument, Forrest Gump & Wedding Crashers

Recently, I had the reverse experience. I watched a movie that was filmed somewhere I had already been, and a part of me was left there. I watched the movie “Holly”, set in Cambodia. With each scene, I was reminded of my time there. It’s the story of a young girl, Holly, and her life as a young sex slave in Svay Pak. The movie begins right in the midst of her turmoil, as she tries to escape her captors. When she does not, it seems that life is about to get much worse for Holly. But she befriends an American traveler, Patrick [played by Office Space’s Ron Livingston], who’s interest in Holly is far from sexual, but more paternal. He sees past her pretty face, and into her deep hurting eyes, and he longs to take Holly from that place. But Patrick is a troubled soul himself, who’s life in Southeast Asia appears to be something less than legit. His partner in crime is played by the late Chris Penn, brother to Sean Penn. When Patrick finally realizes how he wants to save Holly, it seems to be too late, as she’s been sold to another brothel and on her way to Siem Reap. Patrick attempts to track her down. But Holly has taken things into her own hands and gets herself far from the traffickers and onto a boat to Battambang, where she can only hope to be safe. Or is she?

Needless to say, I loved this film solely because it was set in Cambodia! I was flooded with memories from my time there. The red plastic chairs…the Ramen noodle like breakfast…the 2 liters full of gasoline…the poverty and hardship that breaks your heart…glimpses of joy that cause your spirit to soar. The film itself showed several sides of the issue as well, from the traffickers, to the johns, to the victims, to law enforcement, and to the aid workers. I really struggled to like the character of Patrick. He seemed to be full of good intentions, but his own confusion causes some confusion within the viewer as well. Is rescuing Holly a selfish attempt at atonement for past sins? Or is there more to their relationship that meets the eye? I was glad that “Holly” did not go the route of excessive and needless violence, but I also felt the travesty of this injustice was downplayed. The only true moment of horror was when Patrick was led into a brothel, and was subsequently propositioned by 5 and 6-year-old girls. I cheered quietly for the character of Marie, a French relief worker, tirelessly fighting against the scum that invades the country and restoring the victims it claims. I saw some of myself in that moment. However flawed, I’m thankful for the conversation that it starts and the awareness that it raises for the country I’ve grown to love.

About the author

Joy Muldoon is a full-time missionary and part-time blogger. Read about her travels, adventures, and missions here!


amelia said...

Good review. May have to see if I can find this one to rent.

Joy Engdahl said...

yeah it's worth checking out...rated R for language though. it streams on netflix and maybe amazon...or you can rent it on amazon. i had never seen that feature before. but definitely find it!!