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Gardens of the Night (2008)

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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.

Director:

Damian Harris

Writer:

Damian Harris
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gillian Jacobs ... Leslie
John Malkovich ... Michael
Ryan Simpkins ... Young Leslie
Tom Arnold ... Alex
Kevin Zegers ... Frank
Jermaine Scooter Smith Jermaine Scooter Smith ... Young Donnie (as Jermaine 'Scooter' Smith)
Harold Perrineau ... Orlando
Jeremy Sisto ... Jimmy
Raynold Gideon ... Judge Feeney
Cornelia Guest ... Mrs. Feeney
Natalie May Natalie May ... Judge's Daughter
Ben Lin ... Pa
Alice Lo ... Ma
Evan Ross ... Donnie
Landall Goolsby ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jardins da Noite See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,072, 9 November 2008, Limited Release
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview with Filmmaker Magazine director Damien Harris said that since they couldn't tell the child actors what the story was actually about, they came up with an alternative story. It was that Alex (Tom Arnold) had been left by his wife and so he was living alone with Frank (Kevin Zegers), his good buddy, and he wanted a family so these two kids would become his children. There was not going to be a mother, because the mother had left. Frank was now jealous because he thought that he wasn't Alex's favorite anymore, so that's why he was being mean. Then for the specific scenes with Leslie (Ryan Simpkins), they came up with a scenario that fitted emotionally where she had to be, so they didn't have to tell her anything beyond that. Harris came up with that version of the story with the Ryan Simpkin's mother. See more »

Quotes

Young Leslie: [last lines - reading] "Come back", she whispered, "come back, for I love you. Come back again, by night or by day. This door is never shut to you." Mowgli's throat worked as though the cords in it were being pulled, and his voice seemed to be dragged from it as he answered, "I will surely come back."
See more »

Soundtracks

Nick Nack Paddy Whack
Traditional
Courtesy of Opus I Production Music Library
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User Reviews

 
hard to watch
16 February 2013 | by farron34See all my reviews

I've seen a lot of movies, and this one is one of the few that is hard to watch. Not because it's necessarily bad on a cinematic level; the acting is great, and the directing and camera work are just fine. It's hard to watch because of the brutal reality (read: evil) that exists in our world. I feel the first hour of the film could have told in at least half the time – as there are certain things you just don't want to see, and/or turn a blind eye to and pretend they don't exist or happen. However, by leaving it that long, it forces the viewer to enter their world – it's as if they are holding your eyes open for you and you have no other choice (clockwork orange style).

I think it's a powerful story, and told well, as it explores most avenues and consequences associated with that lifestyle. The story is sad, heartbreaking, and repulsive, yet almost beautiful with undertones of love, forgiveness, and what it means to be 'family'.


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