6.9/10
3,817
26 user 28 critic

Gardens of the Night (2008)

R | | Drama | 21 November 2008 (USA)
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After being abducted as children, and suffering years of abuse, a teenage boy and girl find themselves living on the street.

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3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Leslie
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Michael
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Young Leslie
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Alex
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Frank
Jermaine Scooter Smith ...
Young Donnie (as Jermaine 'Scooter' Smith)
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Orlando
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Jimmy
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Judge Feeney
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Mrs. Feeney
Natalie May ...
Judge's Daughter
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Pa
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Ma
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Donnie
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Blackberry John
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Storyline

An 8-year-old girl is taken from her home and convinced that her family does not want her anymore. After enduring years of horror, she and her fellow victim are dumped by their capturers. Now, 17 years old and no one to turn to except each other, they do their best to survive life on the streets, until one day she finally accepts the help of a shelter counselor to find her way home. However, what she truly finds is the love of her life and that you can never go back. "Gardens of the Night", is a haunting, gritty and topical story which delves deep into the world of child abduction and where it often leads... for the "lucky ones." The writer/director, Damian Harris bases his story on the kids, counselors, cops and pimps he met during two years of research. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing content involving sexual exploitation of a child, language, sexual content and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

21 November 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jardins da Noite  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,072 (USA) (9 November 2008)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The homeless shelter that the adult Leslie visits is located in the Little Italy section of downtown San Diego. In real life it is not a homeless shelter, but as of March of 2010 the building is home to a local car rental business. See more »

Quotes

Leslie: Friends are just people who haven't fucked you over yet.
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Soundtracks

Great Plains
Courtesy of Opus I Production Music Library
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User Reviews

 
Growing up abducted, brainwashed, sold & scared

This movie was an excellent portrayal of what I suspect is a realistic account of a girl & boy growing up way too fast. What happens to the children on milk cartons? This movie endeavors to show what too often can & does. I can hardly think of a more serious topic, but I want to reassure viewers that the movie is filmed in a way that reveals the horrible situations with integrity & nothing graphic is shown. Your only repulsion should come from an expanded understanding of what can happen to children and the twisted ways their minds are manipulated to deal with the perverse dilemmas they are forced to reconcile in their young minds.

The movie deals with so many issues in under two hours, which is impressive. Abduction, underage sex trafficking, methods of sex traffickers, runaways, homeless youth, the world-view & hardened emotions that manifest in dealing in this world, & the stories of extremely difficult survival for kids with no home. Again, it is amazing the director accomplished all of this subject matter without exploiting the actors themselves. While the ideas are revolting, your heart responds with a greater love & understanding of the victims of this ugly subculture of humanity.

Jillian Jacobs is astounding in a hardened but not too hard role as a teen who has been pushed beyond the limits of morality & maintains a softness & concern for others, rejecting the behaviors of abuse & subjugation she has been exposed to. Sadly, this is not common in the family life cycle. Normally, we learn from what we see and experience & then duplicate that in our own lives, because how would we know otherwise?

As this movie involved the journey of a boy & a girl through hell on earth, it should come as no surprise to hear it was a gripping thriller that demanded to be watched to completion. I enjoyed it because it informed my imagination & broadened my understanding of the causes & effects of many of our culture's most despicable acts & brought to life in as tasteful way as I could imagine, how these events are processed by children. Any movie that expands our collective consciousness achieves one of the cinema's primary objectives & deserves our heartfelt appreciation.

I rate this a 7/10 stars because of all of the above & the way Jillian Jacobs toes the line in her portrayal of a thoroughly sympathetic character throughout. This was not an easy role. If you enjoy thrillers & dramas & wouldn't mind becoming more informed about these issues, this is a must-see movie.

Knox D. Alford, III


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