Film Review: Eden

Eden is available to purchase on DVD, Blu-ray and & VOD from 9th September 2013 via Clear Vision .

   In a week where Duval Guillame's jaw-dropping Stop The Traffik campaign video has gone viral, it seems rather appropriate that Megan Griffiths' harrowing and disturbing Eden, a true story of human slavery, is to be released in the UK.

   Jamie Chung stars as the Korean-American teenager Hyun-jae who makes the simple mistake of trusting a handsome stranger in a bar; his offer of a ride home is never to be fulfilled. Instead, Hyun-jae finds herself held captive against her wishes and forced into prostitution by a sinister human and drug trafficking ring.

   Hyun-jae's new life is one of indescribable misery - residing in a 10x10 storage facility, her only releases come in the form of visits to clients and trips to pornographic film sets in which she is commanded to take part by her handler Vaughan (Matt O'Leary). As the days, weeks and months go by, Hyun-jae resolves to ensure her own survival and plots a Machiavellian rise to power in the very organisation which has imprisoned her.

   Eden cleverly lets the first half of the film unfold in a woozy, disorienting and rather confusing manner. As Hyun-jae finds herself revived in alien surroundings with no clue as to what has happened to her or, rather more ominously, what will become of her, Griffiths' directing reflects this with a bleary, nightmare-esque tone. Illustrating her struggle to acclimatise to an inhumane new way of life, one which contains explosions of violence and barbarous torture, Eden proves to be an unsettling, upsetting view despite Griffiths taking great care to remove most of the more graphic elements of this grim tale.

   As Hyun-jae (played with a watchful, morose detachment by the winning Chung) hardens in her resolve, the movie finds itself navigating down a new, equally tense path. What lengths, exactly, will Hyun-jae go to to save herself? Her willingness to conspire with her captors makes for uneasy viewing, mixing heartfelt sympathy with real horror in the audience's mind. Eden, rather pleasingly. lacks tabloid sensationalism and salaciousness but never shies away from being truly shocking in portraying the darkest pits humanity will sink in to.

* A copy of this movie was kindly provided for review purposes. To find out more about Chong Kim, the lady who inspired the film, you can listen to her story on BBC's Woman's Hour and read about it at the Minessota's Women's Press too. You can follow the film on Twitter and Facebook too.


  1. Wow, this sounds really intense - so sad to think things like this really happen!

    Reply Delete
    1. Aye - it's really heartbreaking. So sad.


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