Monday, March 29, 2010

The 26th Chicago Latino Film Festival

I remember hearing about the Chicago Latino Film Festival when I was in school, and honestly it would have made a lot more sense for me to go check it out them since I was actually in the city.  I never did go though, and I actually forgot that it even existed.  Then I saw this in the paper:
Seriously, the ad is about two inches big.  But it still caught my attention, so I guess it served its purpose. 

Anyway, I checked out the three, yes just three, films that are part of the festival and they seem interesting. 

The first and the one that I am driving out for, Los Viajes del Viento.


Then there is Mal Dia Para Pescar, which also looks interesting.


And, Espiral.  I know I am going to love this one. 


All three play on different days though, so I will have to choose just one because I can't drive out all three days. The others are going to have to wait till they are out on DVD.

The film festival is playing at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, IL, which is just north of Chicago. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray

There is a scene in the film, Frida that kept coming back to me as I was viewing the photographs of Nickolas MurayFrida and Diego are standing in a doorway and make an agreement to remain friends, comrades and colleagues only. 

I had to go hunt that scene down for y'all.



I heard about a new exhibit on the topic of Frida Kahlo, apparently another friend, colleague and lover photographed Frida during the time spent with her. Nickolas Muray was a Hungarian photographer working in America.  Muray's most recognizable photograph was actually a picture of Frida, but he shot pictures of several of the biggest celebrities. 


One of the first things on display, after a brief bio of both Frida's and Nickolas' life and careers, was a love letter from Frida to Nickolas. 

                        Nick, 
                       I love you like I would an angel.
                       You are my Lillie of the valley my love.
                       I will never forget you, never, never.
                       You are my whole live.
                       I hope you will never forget this.
                                       Frida
                                       May 31st, 1931

Two photos,
almost identical poses with both men. Interesting. In case you are not familiar with either, Diego Rivera is in the first and Nickolas Muray is in the second. 

The other photo that really caught my attention, was this one
See those hands?  The earrings. If you are familiar with Frida's paintings, you understand the interest.  The earrings were a gift, a gift from Picasso. I recognized the earrings, but could not remember where I had seen them until I saw them again.  

The overall collection, while small, is an interesting set of photographs.  Many of them were simple portraits of Frida, I fell in love with all the color.  I seriously thought about painting something cerulean, magenta or kelly green, but then I thought better of it and decided it was time for a new wardrobe. 

Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray is at the Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures till today- sadly.  But the exhibit is touring at several locations throughout the States for the rest of the year.  If the exhibit lands anywhere you, make sure to check it out. 

You can view the current tour schedule, here.  

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lions in the Vatican

Everyone who knows me knows I love lions.  I'm a Leo, and my personal motto involves lions (Unus Sed Leo). 

Browsing the bookshelves at a favorite used bookstore, again, I found a beautiful coffee table book from a 1982 exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The Vatican Collections; The Papacy and Art also came to the Art Institute of Chicago when I was a year old and my mother says that I was there.  

I don't remember any of it, but I do remember most of what I saw when I had the chance to visit the Vatican myself sixteen years later. Lots of angels and lots of lions.  I tried keeping count, but it was an impossible task.  The worst part of that trip was how rushed and packed everything was, I would have liked more than an afternoon to spend in the Vatican galleries, but it was all we had time for. 

The angel on the cover of the coffee book took me back immediately. 
As for the lions, it was kind of a let down to find that there were not as many photographed and included in this book as I thought there would be.  

The ones that I did find though were pretty interesting. There were a couple St. Jeromes with a lion, because he is always portrayed with a lion. 


The first was by Leonardo Da Vinci, an oil from 1482.
The second St. Jerome in the exhibition was by Girolamo Muziano, another oil done between 1585 and 1592. It was restored the same year as the exhibit.
Then there was a lion statue, actually one of a pair of statues that was inscribed for Pharoah Nectanebo I from B.C. 380-342.  The pair of statues was found in the Pantheon in Rome, originally from Tell Baqliya, Egypt. 
When in Rome, my mom did buy a huge book full of art found in the Vatican, but comparing the two I found that most of the art is not found in the other.  So, this book is definitely a keeper and will be on the shelf as soon as I get rid of the lingering smoke smell (it is very slight, but enough that I notice it).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

This or That Tuesday

The Winey Mommy is a blog that I have just started following and she recently started a new blog meme to get people talking and connecting. 

The Winey Mommy

Today's This or That Tuesday question is,

Do you buy makeup at a discount/drugstore or some type of specialty makeup store?

There is a lot of makeup that I can't use, and I don't know it till I put it on, so I buy a lot and try even more. Because I do have darker skin there is a lot less from any one brand or in any one line that works too, so I shop around a lot and dip into all different collections without really having any loyalty or preference for any one brand. 

Sephora is a favorite place to try/buy.  Ulta for things that I know they carry and need.  Drugstore for staples.  Everywhere else for all the new stuff I am bound to find and fall in love with.  Oh, Target has become my new favorite place to discover new lines that they drag in!

What about everyone else?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mondays Over Playlist

I love putting together playlists, they don't always match the moods I'm in, but I love making them. Short and sweet ones are my favorite. 

Here is my Mondays Over Playlist, just because.

Slide- Goo Goo Dolls

MP3 On Amazon--Slide


Ella Es Bonita- Natalia Lafourcade

MP3 on Amazon- Ella Es Bonita 

Drops of Jupiter- Train

MP3 on Amazon- Drops Of Jupiter

Sin Ti Sin Mi- Ricardo Arjona

MP3 on Amazon- Sin Ti Sin Mi

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Bit of a Stretch

There is this piece of furniture in one of the storage closets, that I have had on my mind since I was ten or so.  My girl scout troop took a trip to the beautiful Cantigny gardens one Spring, and during the house tour I spotted this beautiful chaise lounge and told my mom I wanted it.  

Almost like this one. 
Only the one at Cantigny was ten times prettier and had fabric that suited the style.  Anyway, my mom told me that she had one and that I could have it when I was older-- she didn't know then that I had a memory the size of an elephant. 

Mom insists that conversation never happened and that she would never promise me the chaise.  I saw it for the first time about a year after that initial conversation though, and have been planning the reupholstery job ever since.  

Every time my dad does something for a client involving a chaise lounge, we have the same "you told me I could have yours" conversation, and we recently had that conversation when I helped my dad out with a special job. 

There is plastic on it and I couldn't get a front facing picture without a ton of plastic glare, but you get the idea.  This baby isn't staying in our house though, but I still love watching the process and never forget a piece of furniture like this. 


I think it turned out great-- but then again, dad's work always does. I helped though, and I would've helped more had my dad not been so annoyed by my spinning in his spinny chair that he removed it and put this straight back chair in its place. 

The stripes were actually a lot greener and copper colored than the picture appears-- perfect for St. Patty's Day-- and worked with the wood color.  

Next up, the twin's thrones-- I call them thrones, but they are really just tall chairs.  I have to strip, sand, and then stain them before dad will even look at them though.  And we can't agree on fabric, which always makes him grumpy about the things I try to get him to do, so it may take a week or more. 

I'll be better about updating that project though.  Oh, almost forgot, my older brother agreed to help me build my bookcases, so that I won't have to continue planning the Fundraiser for Sophie's Prosthetic Arm Fund in case I accidentally saw something off!



Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Carmen. Sevilla. Je t'aime!

I love how the smallest things can take me away from everything. Browsing the clearance section at my favorite used bookstore I came across a tattered book filled with illustrations by Alastair.  There was tons of good stuff in it so I brought it home for a buck, but I didn't have the chance to flip through it entirely till last night.  

Somewhere in the middle there was a set of illustrations that I fell in love with instantly, Carmen.  

Love the dramatic poses and expressions on everyone-- even when you can't see their faces.
 Si tu m'aimes, Carmen


Out of curiosity I decided to check the 2010/2011 Lyric Opera of Chicago, and no joking, Carmen is on the calendar! It can be so hard to get tickets to the bigger names at the Lyric and the prices......

I would love to go, but I don't know what will be happening in my world when that comes around. 

Found this video of Pavarotti singing my favorite song in Carmen, The Flower Song. 


I want to be back in Sevilla, nibbling yemas and tripping over my feet because there is so much to look up at. Next time I go, I'm renting a car and taking the drive down because there is so much life in that region that I didn't get the chance to taste.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Blog Giveaway Roundup

Hosting a blog giveaway myself this week, I realized just how many blog giveaways there are being held out there.  It seems like almost everyone is giving something away for free.

I have actually had a lot of fun checking out some of them, and there are some that I would love to win myself.  I know there are a lot of other people that would like to win themselves too, and because contests are only fun when you are actually competing against other people, I am going to post the ones I like here. 

Because there are so many though, I plan on doing a single post once or twice a week with all the interesting giveaways included.  

Today, I found:

Skoy Cloths over at Peaches' Reviews & Giveaways  
- I love that they are biodegradable!

McNeill Designs Game Giveaway also at Peaches' R&G
- I want the choreture magnet for the kids, ha!

$10 Amazon GC From Peaches'
- I love, love, love free Amazon money! 

CSN Stores Giveaway from Frugality is Free
- I want the hand blender, but there are three prizes!

The Stolen Crown from Laura's Reviews
- Sounds like a really interesting read, right up my alley. 

Hairfree Brushes from DebsHere
- Have you seen how long my hair is?

The Blooms Earring & Necklace from Busy Working Mama
- Have I told you how much I love jewelry. 

Those are my favorite giveaways for this weekend. Hope there are some that you get the chance to enter yourself.   

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Going Green in Chicago

I was debating going downtown Chicago with the kids to see the St. Patty's Day Parade and greening of the Chicago River, but then I was reminded that we have a dinner/party to attend.  My uncle actually called and invited us a week ahead of time, which is amazing planning for my extended family, and I know everyone is excited about going.  Sadly, there is not much in the way of St. Patrick's Day fun out here in the suburb for the rest of the weekend or week.

I am expecting to have a nice day tomorrow, and the drive means the chance to pass potential shopping sites-- my brothers are going to hate me.  I really want to see if the couple, small used bookstores we used to visit are still open. 

Till then though, because its a quarter to five and everyone in the house is sleeping still except for me, I will have to be content with shopping online.  I have amassed a tidy sum of Amazon dollars from Swagbucks and other places, and I have been dying to spend it on myself for once.  

So, I saw that there was a March Madness Jewelry Sale! Tons of beautiful things, but I saw this...... 
10k White Gold Created Emerald 4 Leaf Clover Pendant, 18"
and I started wondering if it might have any effect against all the bad luck I have.  Or keep the triple sixes away-- yes, they still haunt me everywhere I go. Either way, its pretty. 


Or, these!
Nine West Women's Beaulah Mary Jane,Med Green,8.5 M US 
Love the cutout look, but I have the feeling Missy would steal these in a heartbeat. 

And I can totally wear this on my arm. 
Etienne Aigner Stonebridge Hobo,Grass,one size
Funny story, the other week my younger brother told me he was at the mall and saw a purse that he knew I would love. His words, "There was this purse on the table and I looked at it and all I could think about was you and how it was totally your style. You would love it!". 


Now I'm thinking this is really weird.  My brother never talks purses, and I don't ever recall him telling me he saw something I would like.  Except for that one free toothbrush he got, I can't remember the last time I got anything from him.  


So now, I need to figure out a way to train my brother to spot the things I like, and then bring them home to me. Any ideas?

Right now I am leaning towards the four leaf clover.  I really need something to counter my bad luck. 



Friday, March 12, 2010

Fishing For Jewelry

One of my favorite things in the world is jewelry, probably second to books, and not just owning it, but creating, admiring and hunting for jewelry as well. When I was really young, I used to insist I was going to be a gemologist-- something an aunt reminded me of a couple years ago-- and gleaned everything I could learn from gem books, gem magazines and National Geographic specials.  

I can't get enough of jewelry, and I see creating jewelry as a major stress reliever,-- used to make it and then sell it through college-- but it isn't just because it sparkles or is expensive (which is what most guys think).  I love jewelry for the wonder that goes into creating them deep down in the earth, and then the skill and craftsmanship that goes into forming the gems, metal and jewelry. 

I grew up watching my daddy create beautiful things with his hands, and I have always had gotten a lot of pleasure out of creating things myself.  So lately, I Have been really wanting to make some jewelry of my own again, but my beading and implements supply is seriously depleted.  I have not restocked it in a long time, and I have made gifts for friends and family for two years in a row, without adding anything new.  

I am pretty much left with bits and parts from other projects.  So, I have gone fishing for parts.  One of the things I love to do is to take people's old jewelry, things they have discarded or no longer wear, tear them apart and make beautiful new pieces.  I know a lot of people on Etsy have fancy names for this, but I just call it making jewelry.

I keep looking at these jewelry making classes, that teach you how to weld and cast, and considering them, but my brother knows how to weld so I am hoping he can show me the basics on a super small scale.  For now though, I have been hitting the thrift, consignment, and resale stores like crazy.  I have found that the same piece goes for three times less in a resale shop as it does in a consignment shop.  

The other day the girls and I stopped in a consignment shop that had jewelry from Claire's that was more expensive than the retail price (tags still on with price marked).  Most days I just come across crap, but then there days were I hit the jackpot.  For now, I am looking, thinking up things in my head and collecting a little pile.  Some of the pieces I am finding, I am happy with the way they are now, and they totally can be used as is or added to something else.  

Here are three recent find, and I have to apologize for the quality because I was trying to do this on the scanner and I have not figured out how to improve the quality on the new one.  

This scan did not turn out nearly as good as the piece looks. It is a gold-tone pin in two different parts.  The inside piece is the largest and includes the petals and the center which is on a prong.  The outside piece is basically a thin metal cutout in the shape of petals that rests beneath the solid petals.  I love the open contrast and I think it would look great alone or as part of another piece.  Paid $1 for it.

This piece ended up being my favorite find in the last couple weeks because of all the detail that went into making a small pin.  There are actually four layers of interwoven, metal petals on this flower pin.  A tiny pearl is in the center and the final layer of petals are alternating between two separate discs. Paid about $1 for it. Love it!
The twins actually brought these home for me one day.  I have no clue were they got them or what they paid for them, but I love the look.  They are flower shaped silver earrings made from a single piece of twisted silver.  I wear them a lot, and of course, the twins are very happy to see me do so.  


I have so many more pieces that I have accumulated in the past week and plan on sharing, but these three are my most recent finds and I can't wait to get the pins matched up with an outfit.  


Does anyone else reuse old jewelery? Maybe, I will open another Etsy store one day and get cracking with things on there.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Crazy for Custo

If you are not familiar with the loveliness that is Custo Barcelona, you are in for a treat!

 
I first discovered Custo Barcelona when I was living in Spain.  After every class, I would literally roam Madrid without a map or plan on me-- which is really the best way to get to know a new place.  

 Anyway, in the middle of all this roaming I kept passing the one Custo retail store that was literally right under my nose for months, till right before I left-- the shop on Claudio Coello.  Instead, I stumbled across a larger location that was smack in the middle of a more touristy area, on Gran Via.

Back then, I was not necessarily living on a shoestring, but I was definitely not doing any Custo Barcelona shopping, beyond window shopping.   


Oh yeah, that's a picture of me roaming Spain.  Not a stitch of Custo to be seen, sigh. I fell in love with the t-shirts first. I loved the colors, the designs, where their inspiration for the collections came from.  It wasn't long before I was trying on all the skirts.

I made it through though, and once I was home I began to stalk eBay in search of vintage Custo shirts.  It wasn't until months later that I realized, yet again, that there was another Custo Barcelona retail store right under my nose.  This time in Chicago-- Water Tower Place.
And here I thought I was pretty observant.  That pretty much brings us to present day though, and I am still crazy for Custo.  

There is just something about the colors, designs, vibrancy of the designs that I love.  I love the signature females that are used on the tee designs-- dressed up as everything from cowgirl to surfer chick to flamenco dancer.  

With the new Spring/Summer 2010 collection out in full force I surf AND add to my shopping cart!
   



 
You can check out the entire Custo Barcelona line, here
Fan Custo Barcelona on Facebook, here.


What Do Vampires, Voltaire and Batman Have in Common?

 

What do Vampires, Voltaire and Batman have in common?

Anyone?

Honestly, I haven't really worked it all out in my head yet either, so I was hoping someone could offer some assistance.  I might come back to this after the fever fog has left my brain in a week and recognize it as delusional ramblings-- who knows. 

But, the fam and I were gathered around the living room couch, because that was where my sick bed was, reading Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter out loud-- yeah, we read together too-- when we got to the following passage (it is an excerpt from young Abe Lincoln's journal upon finding out his father's debts set his mother's death in motion):

"The very sight of him awakened some heretofore unknown hatred, Hatred of my father. My anger kept me away for three days and nights. They had taken her from me. Father and Jack Barts. I hated my father for telling me such impossible, unspeakable things.  Yet I knew they were the truth. During those days of anger and grief, I gave into madness and admitted something to myself: I believed in vampires. I believed in them, and I hated them to the last.
When he finally came home, Abe didn't say a word. He made straight for his journal and wrote down a single sentence. One that would radically alter the course of his life, and bring a fledgling nation to the brink of collapse.
I hereby resolve to kill every vampire in America."
At the end of that passage I looked up at my sibs as they made dramatic gestures and pretended to hack vampires with imaginary axes.  

Then, totally out of the blue, my younger brother said something very profound about seeking truth and people giving into madness.  Whatever it was he said was totally fitting though, and I mulled it over in my head for a millisecond while looking up at him with what I am guessing was pure astonishment.  

My brother noticed he caught me unawares and cracked a huge smile.  Batman.  Yes, Batman. 

I fell asleep shortly after my nap, no crazy dreams, but woke up with a recollection of my brother's Batman quote.  Not remembering exactly what he said, I called him and asked him what it was he said. 

"I don't know what you're talking about." Seriously, I don't know! My little brother was back.  Did I dream it? 

It turns out I did not dream it, my brother does remember rattling off some vague quote, but he does not recall what he said, nor exactly what film it was from.  Aghhh. 

But Voltaire? Yes, Voltaire. 

The reason I want to know that quote was because of some Voltaire that is lodged in my brain-- besides, it was a pretty nifty quote that came tumbling out of my brother's mouth. 

"Superstition excites storms; philosophy appeases them." 

I have the feeling Batman was quoting Voltaire, and the passage we read on Abe triggered something in my brother's memory, something that was right on.

It was a minutely exciting moment, at least to me.  For starters it proves that my teenage brother does get things, things other than video games and girls, which is a total relief. And it unlodged a long forgotten quote, which is always exciting for me. 

Now if only I could find that Batman quote without having to watch the films-- something I have never done.  The couple that have come up in google searches, while nice, are not the one I am looking for.  I wonder now if it was even from Batman.     

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lesser Known Museum in Chicago: National Museum of Mexican Art

The National Museum of Mexican Art (NMMA) has long been one of a kind-- and I think it might still be.  If you have never heard of this lesser know museum in Chicago, and most people have not, it can be found in Pilsen and its mission is to preserve knowledge and appreciation of Mexican culture.

Okay, so my first memory of the NMMA had to be when I was about six or seven.  My older brother was working on a school project and my mom took us over in search of an accurate picture of one of these:

Considering how many visits I have made to Pilsen, much of my extended family lives literally right down the block from the NMMA, I have not had the chance to visit the museum as many times as I would like.  

But, the National Museum of Mexican Art has a very impressive collection and they always have super interesting exhibitions going on that are very relevant to the world today.  For that reason, I wanted to introduce as many people as I could to this really neat place-- even if I only have a few readers right now.

Currently, there is a really important exhibition that they are hosting called, Rastros y Cronicas: Mujeres de Juarez-- an issue that is very important to me.  I have done a couple posts between this blog and my book blog, The Opening Lines, regarding the need to end modern day slavery.  

If you don't already know, women have been disappearing in Juarez for quite some time now.  At first several were ending up outside the city, dumped in no man's land, but lately they have just gone missing.  Women and girls are just nabbed from the street and most of them end up victims of human trafficking, never to be heard from again.

It is a horrible tragedy for so many women and girls, as well as the families who never give up hope that their daughters will make it back home. This exhibition faces the issue head on.  From the website:

"For some time now, Mexican and Mexican American artists have been sensitive to the subject of Women in Juarez and have worked on diverse projects to share their perspective on this disturbing situation. The thought provoking pieces throughout the exhibition serve as a chronicle of the struggles of Mexican women and the grievous deaths in Ciudad Juarez. By generating awareness, the artwork supports the cause of the victim's families who search for justice and truth.  The artists of Rastros y Cronicas compel the viewer to comprehend and sympathize with what the victims endured and what the living continue to face.  In this way, our generation and future generations will not forget or ignore the loss of life in Ciudad Juarez."       

Things you should know about the NMMA:
  • It is the nation's largest Latino arts institution and the only Latino museum accredited by the American Association of Museums. 
  • The museum has been free to visitors since 1987.
  • It is located in the heart of Pilsen.
  • The NMMA just won the 2009 Coming Up Taller Award for its Youth Initiative
  • More than a dozen programs have been launched outside Chicago.
For more information on the NMMA, visit:The National Museum of Mexican Art

See also:
Libertad Latina- Website dedicated to the plight of indigenous women in Latin America
Amnesty International USA-- Stop Violence Against Women
The Juarez Project-- Dedicated to bringing justice for the Women of Juarez
On Modern Day Slavery-- Review I wrote of the book, A Crime So Monstrous
Movies About Modern Day Slavery-- another post on this very blog

Monday, March 1, 2010

Done With Modern Art



This is the post where I was supposed to come back and tell you what a wonderful trip we had at the Modern Art wing of The Art Institute of Chicago. That's not going to happen.  

Two things, my younger sisters and I love art and we love the Art Institute of Chicago.  Our visit yesterday was off from the beginning though.  It was the last day of February, and subsequently the last February free day, so the place was packed to the hilt.  Then, there was this really creepy guy, seemed to be everywhere we turned, who was walking around grabbing himself and grinning-- ewww. 

We decided to start off in the new modern wing, which really does look fabulous inside and out, but I think maybe we should have eased the twins into it.  To be fair, they have been around modern art in the past, and even though there is now a dedicated wing, modern art has always been displayed at the AIC. 

We overlooked the Photography, Film and the William Eggleston galleries entirely-- though I was hoping to pop in after we went upstairs.  Instead, we headed to the second floor, where all the action appeared to be.  

Bad move. We ended up in the Contemporary Art after 1960 galleries where the twins began cracking jokes and making faces at the few people in the crowd who declared the art "brilliant" or "representative of a great disconnect"

We were staring at












 and 

















We didn't last long at all, especially after Christine blurted out something along the lines of, "They're all on drugs!"  Oh the stares and glares we got.  

The pants grabber was out of control at this point though, so we ended up fleeing the Modern Wing before we made it to the third floor.  I know the girls would have enjoyed those galleries because they do like Picasso, Modigliani and Dali.

We ended up retreating into our favorite galleries filled with European Art and Impressionism.  The twins did some sketching and Missy and I had our fill of neck craning and people watching.  

I don't think the twins are done with Modern Art, but I think we will have to introduce them to it little by little between now and our next visit.  Definitely going to try and find out more about the pieces that are on display so that I can discuss with them the pieces, artists and styles being used. 

You can find tons of great materials and links on AIC's website and even check out their digital collection. 

Movies About Modern Day Slavery

A couple days ago I reviewed the book, A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery on my book blog, The Opening Lines.  The book deals with the issue of modern day slavery, not just here in the United States, but all over the world.

Most people do not realize that more people are in slavery right now, than at any other point in history.  Personally, I feel that this is just unacceptable, and needs to be stopped.  

I would urge everyone to check out groups like, Free the Slaves.

In talking about all the information that I have come across in the past few months, Missy and I started to recall the movies we have seen that deal with the issue of human trafficking.  

Honestly, I think just about all of the movies have been about the trafficking of women for sexual slavery, but there men, women and children are being kept for more than that.  It seems like lately I come across at least one news article a week dealing with laborers being kept in indentured servitude here in the states by scammers intent on collecting wages through employment rings.  

But, here is a brief rundown of movies dealing with modern day slavery that you can check out.  If Amazon has the movie available in Video on Demand, I will include a link for that.  


Holly

Holly 
Ron Livingston delivers a powerful breakout performance as a "comfortably numb" American, immersed in a dangerous and shocking culture of corruption, slavery and deceit. Disgusted and inspired, he finds true meaning in his life as he frantically searches through both the beautiful and sordid faces of Cambodia, risking everything in a desperate attempt to save the life of one girl, Holly... before it's too late. (from Amazon)

HollyTrailer on YouTube 



I thought Holly was okay, a little too predictable, but definitely a good film on the trafficking that takes place in the more remote areas of the world.  After I watched this there was an article in Marie Claire, Diary of an Escaped Sex Slave, that dealt with another young woman who went through some horrific stuff as a child. 

Blind Mountain
Blind Mountain
In rural early 90's China, Bai (Lu Huang), a pretty and enterprising college student, travels to a remote, mist shrouded mountain village in the company of a pair of affable strangers. But what Bai thought was an expedition to gather herbs for resale turns into a "true crime shocker" (NY Times) when her fellow travelers sell her into slavery. (From Amazon)

There are only two YouTube trailers posted, the official one isn't translated into English though and the second one gives away the ending.  I actually watched this movie using Video on Demand from Amazon and the quality was very good-- the translation is in English. 

I really liked this film, but parts of it are really hard to watch.  I totally felt for this girls situation, but there were some duh moments. I also think, had the director been allowed full creative rights, it would have been perfect.  

Trade
Trade
Trade, a controversial drama that aims to enlighten viewers to the horrors of the international sex slave trade, functions in a somewhat documentary mode due to its purposefully repellent nature.  Trade opens in Mexico City where a tourist, Weronika, is kidnapped right before a thirteen year-old Mexican girl, Adriana is yanked off her bike and pushed into a black Mercedes. Quickly, the two young women meet in various squalid conditions, alternating turns of abuse and rape with sleazy men who prepare them for international sale over the Internet. 
Trade Trailer on YouTube


Missy and I actually waited a long time for this film to be released, and when it finally was we had a mixture of opinions.  I think everyone knows about the missing women in Juarez, because honestly, you would have to be in a cave not to have heard about what is going on in Mexico.  

I know there were a few more films released about the same time as Trade, that I never did get to watch (including Backyard), but Trade is a good place to start.  The only thing I did not like about this film was that some of the scenes were a little overdone, and there were points where I thought the film and story were never going to end. 

Taken
Taken (Single-Disc Extended Edition) 
Prepare to get Taken for the ride of your life! “Liam Neeson is an unstoppable force” (Premiere) in this action-packed international thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. When his estranged teenage daughter (Maggie Grace) is kidnapped in Paris, a former spy (Neeson) sets out to find her at any cost. Relying on his special skills, he tracks down the ruthless gang that abducted her and launches a one-man war to bring them to justice and rescue his daughter.  (From Amazon)

Taken Trailer on YouTube



I have to say, this film was the most exciting of all the films in this list. Definitely a made for Hollywood flick about human trafficking.  The main character in this film was so different from all the other characters I have read about or watched in films, but yet she found herself in the same position which left you with the scary thought that it really can happen to everyone.  

*******


So, those are all the films that I can recall at the moment. I have the feeling I am leaving one out, but it might be a film about slavery, but not modern day slavery that is coming to mind. 

Has anyone else viewed any of these films?  What did you think of them?