Human trafficking is never pretty, so we brace ourselves to witness the story of a 13-year-old girl sent to India to work but instead is actually sold into a brothel. This 2014 Seattle International Film Festival entry from the UK/Nepal/India/USA is directed by Jeffrey Brown and is based on the award-winning best seller by Patricia McCormick, adapted by Joseph Kwong.

My defense shields were set to "High" because I felt the audience was a bit voyeuristic watching as little virgins were deflowered, but I DID appreciate the scenes that emphasize that these are children! They drop water-filled condoms on unwary passersby below. To sip a bubbly Coke is a revelation, as is the burp. They play with kites, and our girl's favorite present is a yellow pencil!

We watch:
  • Niyar Saikia in her first role, is Lakshmi, our determined little girl who never gives up trying to run away, despite punishment and degradation. This young actress does NOT look Nepalese.
  • Gillian Anderson ("Hannibal") plays Sophia, who pretends to be in the same order of nuns as Mother Teresa as she covertly takes photographs.
  • David Arquette (Lots of TV) brings us Sam, an American who is working with that child rescue agency. I think he had a total of two lines....
Now may I please talk about what I did NOT like?
  • This had no captions, so all the dialogue is in heavily accented English.
  • I don't think a subsistence-level Nepalese family would speak idiomatic English within the confines of their own home. This is totally unrealistic!
  • The worn-out idea of the white people always being the saviors for those "poor brown folks" ...again... makes me weary, and embarrasses me. My alarm bells started to jangle right away!
  • No charitable agency would spend all that time and money on one little victim. That's a poor use of charity funds!
The Himalayas are handsome and scenic, but some of those shots looked like they were mounted on a back wall in the studio. Bollywood could do this sooooo much better!