Megan Griffith’s authentic portrayal of human sex trafficking, drags you down in a dark hole. With a constant pain in the chest, it is difficult to watch the whole film, but at the same time, it’s something that says that Eden will make it.
The Korean-American girl Hyun Jae works for her immigrant parents in a little gift shop in New Mexico. After a hard day at work, she decides to go to a bar with a fake ID, to have some fun. She ends up leaving the bar with a man with terrible intentions, and wakes up in a living hell. She becomes a part of a sex trafficking trade somewhere in Nevada, run by a corrupt police chief. Under the new name Eden, she is forced to be a sex slave together with several other young girls. The film is based on a real story about a girl named Chong Kim, who experienced these cruelties for three years.
At first Eden rebels against being sexually abused, and tries to run away. As times pass, however, she puts on a new strategy; she has to cooperate with the big men to survive. As she starts to collaborate with her boss Vaughan, and shows that she is willing to sacrifice the other girls to keep her position, she gets to do other jobs like taking calls from customers and bringing other girls to the jobs.
Even though she gets higher up in the hierarchy, and she actually gets closer to Vaughan, she understands that she has to get away. Throughout the whole film Eden (played by Jamie Chung) plays a strong and interesting role. We never really know which path she will take. Even though she is becoming more cynical as the story develop, we root for her to save herself and her friend. When she does that, we can finally breath out. But the painstaking feeling will be stuck in the chest for a long time. It’s a painful story, but it’s an important story, that Megan Griffith tells in an excellent way, with amazing actors, especially Jamie Chung playing the main character Eden.