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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
Alright, this is one of those types of movies that will sinks deep into your psyche and stay with you for a long, long time. Especially because this particular, horrible child abuse is taking place every single day in countries around the world.
First of all, a sincere admiration to the people behind this movie, for bringing this type of movie into existence, for having the guts to make a movie about this type of taboo, that we all know exists, but no one really talks about. It is a bold movie, but a powerful movie, a movie that hit you right in the face and leaves an impression forever. So, hats off to the people who made this film possible.
And also to the actors and actresses who starred in the movie, be it lead roles or supporting roles, or even smaller roles that are not really important to the overall story. It is good that some people have the guts and courage to participate in making a movie about this terrible daily happening. And I admire Ron Livingston, Chris Penn and Udo Kier for their performances in "Holly" and for their ability to participate in this type of movie. In particular, I must mention Ron Livingston for his ability to portray such different characters as he have throughout his career, that he can manage this type of variety is just phenomenal. And also Udo Kier in the role of the German guy, giving a fairly good, though stereotypical, portrait of a sex tourist.
Now, the story told in "Holly" is a story about child prostitution, slavery, human trafficking and more importantly, the story of a man's willingness to make a difference, even if just for a single soul. You should take to heart that the story deals with a very serious matter, and you might be offended by it. But in my eyes, the movie managed to take the matter of child prostitution, slavery, etc. and make it into a good story without being too graphic or without becoming a sleaze-fest.
I am not familiar with the circumstances of which these events actually take place every day, but it is my belief that the movie portrayed this in a believable manner and I suspect that there has been some intensive research going on prior to starting shooting the movie.
Now, there isn't a whole lot going on in the movie, yet "Holly" strikes you like a 40-ton freight train. It just has that much impact and levity. This is really a movie that needed be told a long time ago, and I hope that it helps to open the eyes for some people to what is really happening in countries outside our own little, closed worlds of safety and familiar habits. However, what does go on in the movie is straight to the point and very much in your face, leaving you with nothing else to do than take it all in and take it to heart.
Having seen the movie, I feel that this is a movie that will be staying with me for a long, long time. It has profoundly set some marks in me and opened my eyes up to the world around me. And remember, you might think that your effort might not make a difference, because you are just one person, but take into consideration that you are not the only one thinking so, and together we can make a difference.
Sorry, didn't mean to go all preachy, but back to the movie. If you haven't already gotten acquainted with the movie "Holly", you definitely need to get around to doing so. Purchase the movie, rent it, borrow it, whatever it takes, just get to it. This is one of those movies that you have to see. I am very grateful that I got acquainted with this movie, and I wasn't even aware of this particular gem, until I found it by sheer random coincidence.
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