Political Film Society - Holly

PFS Film Review


For centuries, poor families have sold their children in certain parts of Asia to perform services for the rich. In recent years, an estimated million or so have been coerced, sold, or stolen into prostitution at young ages. One of the centers of child trafficking, Cambodia, is featured in Holly, directed by Guy Moshé, which ends with a title pleading to stop the practice. The plot involves a twentysomething American, cardshark Patrick (played by Ron Livingston), who is trekking through Cambodia as a stolen artifacts dealer when he encounters Holly (played by Thuy Nguyen), a twelve-year-old Vietnamese recently sold into prostitution against her will. Patrick tries to save Holly from her plight, but in the process filmviewers learn not only how trafficking operates (the best part of the film) but also the abject poverty conditions that underpin the ugly trade. Toward the end, Patrick brings Holly to a rescue mission for former child prostitutes in Cambodia, but by then Holly has fallen in love with Patrick, who cannot accept her marriage proposal because of her age. The noir film, of course, ends tragically. The Political Film Society has nominated Holly as best film exposé and best film on human rights of 2007. MH

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