Netflix has a much better description of this movie than wikipedia does. In fact, it was Netflix's excellent description and recommendation of this movie that made me rent it. It says,
David Schisgall's startling documentary captures the heartbreaking stories of underage girls -- many as young as 13 -- who've been forced into prostitution in New York, exposing how pimps use isolation, violence and drugs to keep girls dependent. Many of the girls interviewed take part in GEMS, a shelter and mentoring program founded by activist Rachel Lloyd -- once a prostitute herself -- that helps them transition out of "the life."And how much did I pay to watch?
I got it on the 'flix. I think my movie watching has been doing better... lets calculate the per disc amount. I have returned 10 movies in a month (and I watched on on the interweb on the 'flix site) So, 11 movies divided by the monthly rate of $16.99 is $1.54/movie. HUZZAH! Back down to a reasonable price!
And what did I think?
Ok, this one was sad. But uplifting as well. In my review for Orphan I referenced the saddest and best documentary ever--Children Underground. Very Young Girls was sad, but the girls---or a lot of them, were really trying to do better. I suppose that is thanks to Rachel Lloyd. Dude, RL's accent was SO mental! It reminded me of the chick from The Streets, she sounded like she was British. But she had a trashy accent like she was from New York. So the next day at work, you know, that is where I do a lot of movie researching, I looked her up on the internets. I found this article which told me
"Lloyd was just 13 when she dropped out of school to support an alcoholic mother. She slipped into a life of drugs and sexual abuse. She tried three times to kill herself. But even in the United Kingdom, with its network of social workers, lawyers and psychiatrists, Lloyd “continued to slip through the cracks of a system that would eventually give up.” Prostitution in Germany was what awaited her at age 17."Yikes. So that explains the accent.
I think one of the awesome things she says in the movie was so true. She said, to paraphrase, "In America, people worry about child prostitution in Thailand or Ukraine, but when it happens in their own backyard they turn a blind eye." I feel like that is probably true. How often do you hear about child exploitation or human trafficking all over the world, but never in the US? I am sure it happens, and it happened to these girls in this documentary.
The thing that is even better about this documentary, is that it shows women who are really trying to make a difference in the lives of these girls and bring light to a situation that doesn't get enough coverage in the US. Rachel Lloyd and GEMS seems like they are slowly but surely building awareness about child prostitution in the US.
I don't want to see preachy, because this sort of social or crime issue isn't really the type I learn about...but you should really see this movie.
It really is very illuminating.
So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Solid, solid, solid, solid documentary. 9.