When Gabriel and Emilie meet by chance, he offers her a ride, and they spend the evening talking, laughing and getting along famously. At the end of the night, Emilie declines Gabriel's ... See full summary »
Shot on location in Cambodia, including many scenes in actual brothels in the notorious red light district of Phnom Penh, HOLLY is a captivating, touching and emotional experience. Patrick, an American card shark and dealer of stolen artifacts, has been 'comfortably numb' in Cambodia for years, when he encounters Holly, a 12-year-old Vietnamese girl, in the K11 red light village. The girl has been sold by her impoverished family and smuggled across the border to work as a prostitute. Holly's virginity makes her a lucrative prize, and when she is sold to a child trafficker, Patrick embarks on a frantic search through both the beautiful and sordid faces of the country, in an attempt to bring her to safety. Harsh, yet poetic, this feature forms part of the 'K-11' Project, dedicated to raising awareness of the epidemic of child trafficking and the sex slavery trade through several film projects. The film's producers endured substantial hardships in order to be able to shoot in Cambodia ... Written by
After seeing the movie last night I was left with a sense of the hopelessness faced by organisations trying to tackle the problem the film portrays. The scale of the prostitution seems so large that it's hard to see how it can be defeated without major governmental changes in Cambodia.
Anyway, on with the review.
Although it is a sombre movie with an uncomfortable central relationship this is a very compelling film, and I'd even go so far as to say it was enjoyable. The film was well edited for the running time and the performance by Thuy Nguyen was excellent. I also felt Ron Livingston played a very difficult role well.
It would have been nice to have a little more insight into why Patrick feels he has to help Holly, but maybe the reason is a simple as he explains to Chris Penn's character. I won't explain it here - go see the movie.
This is a good, thought-provoking film with obviously good intentions. I hope it gets a wide enough release to reach a decent sized audience and gain more support for the K-11 Project.
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