NEW YORK TIMES - One of the bigger hurdles in producing “Holly,” a drama about sex trafficking, was finding a Vietnamese girl to play the title character, a 12-year-old sold into the notorious Cambodian brothel town known as K11.
All things considered, it would have been easier to secure a Vietnamese sex worker than it was to get a Vietnamese actress. “That is a very sad statement,” said Guy Jacobson, a producer and writer of the film. “And a very true statement.”
“Holly” is one of several recent films that explore sex trafficking, a phenomenon the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime describes as the world’s fastest-growing criminal enterprise. The recent “Trade,” which starred Kevin Kline, followed human cargo being smuggled from Mexico to New Jersey. “Very Young Girls,” a new documentary produced for Showtime by David Schisgall, confines itself to New York City but reveals a homegrown world of predatory sex and the legal view that the seller, rather than the buyer, is culpable.
“Holly,” however, exists in a world without borders. The inspiration, said Mr. Jacobson, a lawyer and investment banker, came from a trip he took to Phnom Penh. “I was walking in the street in the middle of the day and found myself surrounded by a group of about 15 little girls, some as young as 5, who were very aggressively soliciting me for prostitution,” he said. “One of the girls said, ‘I yum yum very good, I no money today, mama-san boxing me.’ Which we use, word for word, in the film.”...
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