Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Movie Review: Very Young Girls
Very Young Girls provides a great deal of insight into how the human trafficking industry works and how the cycle begins for many young women. Some of girls featured in the film spoke of abusive, neglected, or violent home lives while others mentioned escaping a group home or taking the subway to the wrong stop. Regardless of the situation, significantly older men preyed upon vulnerable young girls, feeding their inherent need for love and guidance, drawing the girls in with promises of love, only to hinge that love upon economic necessity. In an interview one girl spoke of "love as I know it," which became entangled with sex and money, rather than unconditional affection. The girls' relationship to their pimps takes the form of Stockholm's Syndrome with severe emotional attachment as the girls know no other life.
The issues presented in Very Young Girls are compelling and important. While overall the film is strong and presents the crux of the human trafficking problem quite well, a few elements could use further clarification. Much of the footage provided by the two pimps is difficult to understand because the sound quality is so poor, as are the images. If the editors had provided closed captioning for this portion and perhaps provided clearer links between the girls in the pimps' car and those in the interviews. A few minor changes would have increased the clarity of the film and all the facets of the situation it attempts to present. It is a shame that this film is not more widely screened or discussed as the issue of human trafficking in the US is a huge, yet widely ignored problem.