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I can't find one thing not to like in this film. With the exception of its subject matter. But it is, undoubtedly, the most daring film ever to cover children exploitation. Daniel Auteil and Nastassja Kinski, superbly directed by Chris Menges did a great job to tell the world about this sordid issue in "The Lost Son" in the 90's. But this is WAY ahead of what we were told then.
This film goes all the way down to hunt one of the most terrible crimes and sins in our existence. The setting is actual Thailand and Myanmar (Burma). Everything is seen through the eyes of a professional writer for the Tokyo Times living in Bangkok, a naive Japanese bachelor just arrived from the West, a NGO officer, and some very dark characters with their own nightmares to be revealed.
As the news reporter tries to pry open a monstrous operation going on in Bangkok that smuggles children from Myanmar and collects some more in Thailand to sell their bodies to sexual tourism, he discovers that this is just but the tip of the iceberg. Organ trading is routine between a prominent physician in a prestigious hospital in Bangkok and a secret mafia that operates in Chiangrai, but here, the story takes a turn with no escape and the plot (as in the original novel by Sogil Yan) gets as dark as it can get.
I never spoil the show by recounting the film, so just be aware that this is a Japan-Thailand joint effort, and that the novel it is based on is Japanese. All in all, a totally Asian film. Brutal, convincing, horrifying, and extremely sad. Shot on real locations that transpire the hardships, smells and anxieties of a theme that is the rotten soul of the darkest secrets and the brightest light of humankind. If you're American, this film may bore you... or shock you. Not made for Hollywood fans.
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