The film is a Fairytale/Parable about the child sex trafficking epidemic that has overrun our city of Atlanta. We are using the film to not only raise awareness but provoke meaningful ... See full summary »
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The film is a Fairytale/Parable about the child sex trafficking epidemic that has overrun our city of Atlanta. We are using the film to not only raise awareness but provoke meaningful action towards this issue taking place in our own backyard. Written by
Last night I had the surreal opportunity to attend the premier of a short, beautiful and deeply disturbing independent film at the Fox Theater in downtown Atlanta. The Candy Shop is self-described as a fairytale about child sex exploitation and truly I can think of no better way to describe it.
As a low-budget, independent film it is quite excellent and I suspect it will get noticed when it is taken to the film festivals. The imagery is darkly picturesque, reminiscent of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, giving the viewer a sense of foreboding amidst an otherwise pleasant outlook. The characters are superbly portrayed by a fine cast of actors. Of course, the most notable performance came from Doug Jones who brought the creepy, demented, and hauntingly familiar Candyman to life instantly he is hated, and yet one gets a sense that underneath this character has his own tragic story that is, perhaps, not so far distant from our own. Brandon McCormick, the director of this film, has created a story that is a bit transparent for an allegory but I believe this was intentional. The title tells us it is a story about child sex exploitation we are never given the opportunity to truly believe that this is just a harmless fairytale and when we see the delicious looking lollipops and our mouths begin to water it creates a disquieting sense of wrongness as we are pulled into the story. In no way is this film gratuitous, explicit, or graphic, yet the true horror of the issue comes through. This film is a triumph of storytelling.
It is tempting to say that this is a story about a bad man, who hurts children, and who ultimately gets his due. However, as I mulled it over, it became more and more apparent that this was not the Candyman's story; the idea is not simply to show us that evil exists. Rather, it is the story of the paperboy who first warily watches, and then with growing consternation realizes that something is wrong eventually being brought face-to-face with the reality of the issue and realizing that he no longer has the option of idly standing by. We, the viewer, take the same journey so be warned! I defy any sane-minded person to leave the theater without a sense of responsibility to take action.
What makes the film so utterly horrific is the knowledge that child sex slavery is not fiction. Nor is it something that only happens overseas in third-world countries. It is happening everywhere in the United States. Atlanta, Georgia is one of the largest hubs for child sex trafficking. And nearly half of perpetrators come from my neck of the woods, the suburbs north of Atlanta. These are OUR children! This is OUR issue!
Doug Jones said afterward that when he read the script he knew he wanted to be a part of the film, but that "the cause came with it." So it is with me, and so it will be, I truly hope, with you. Please support this film, as it is entered into the Atlanta Film Festival, and please become an abolitionist you can visit stopthecandyshop.com or streetgrace.com for more information.
Original Review found at: http://ebdean.com/archives/221
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