"Trade of Innocents" tells a compelling story about child trafficking and the people working tirelessly to end it. The film also serves as a profound wake up call to viewers.
- Christian Post: Benge Nsenduluka
The thriller independent film was created by global activists Bill and Laurie Bolthouse and director Christopher Bessette, all of whom were inspired to tell the story of human trafficking after trips to Cambodia.
Jim Schmidt, a Los Angeles-based film producer and award-winning actor who has been in films such as Billy Graham's "The Climb," and the 1980s film "Super Christian," signed on to co-produce "Trade of Innocents" after being approached by the Bolthouses.
Schmidt, a Christian filmmaker, previously told The Christian Post that "Trade of Innocents" depicts different aspects of child trafficking from "the mother that sacrifices one child to the sex trade in order to provide financially for the rest of the family; to the cop who turns a blind eye; to the brothel owner who uses a perverted twisted sense of family to control his girls; to finally, the main characters who show that the people who do human trafficking investigations and rescues have real problems and challenges in their own lives."
The film stars Dermot Mulroney as Alex Becker and Academy Award Winning actress Mira Sorvino as Claire Becker; they are a married couple who becomes dedicated to human rights work in Cambodia after suffering the loss of their own child. The pair is intent on rescuing young girls from human traffickers and the sleazy foreigners who pay for their services.
Sorvino, whose character still struggles with the pain of losing her young daughter, spoke directly with The Christian Post about how her role as a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador helped her prepare for the role in the film. The mother of four also went on to explain why human trafficking is not foreign to her.
"Being a mother was half the work and then remembering what it was like when I first met trafficking survivors how very devastatingly real [it all is] ... and that's [my] character- she knows nothing about [child trafficking] and she just meets this girl and falls in love with her and is outraged and horrified at what's happening to her and I just had to remember that," Sorvino said during the film's Sept. 27 premiere in New York City.
"Although I've met so many survivors in my role as Goodwill Ambassador, I'm still incredibly moved by all of them but the first time is the most mind blowing because you cannot believe what a human being will do to another human being for the love of money; you cannot take it emotionally, you just start crying," she added.
Actor John Billingsley plays Malcolm Eddery, a twisted pedophile with a "the-younger-the-better" mentality when it comes to selecting his ideal child prostitute. Despite the gruesome nature of his character, Billingsley effortlessly gives viewers a believable portrayal, and he recently spoke to The Christian Post about preparing for the disturbing role that he enjoyed playing.
"You know its funny because I always feel as an actor that I can come up with a much more sort of forthright answer to that question you know 'oh my God I did la la la' ... The realty is that you just imagine yourself under those circumstances, you figure out the person's backstory and then you play the action of the scene. ... For reasons I don't fully understand, [I] myself like [playing] more than my share of serial killers, child molesters and villains ... not [necessarily] all bad guys, [i] like some good guys too," Billingsley said.
Bill Bolthouse revealed that although the film may have been a "horrible investment" financially, it will be worth it in the long run if it can help change the precious life of at least one victim of human trafficking.
"Making a motion picture in today's market is a horrible investment ... unless you are making it for a reason bigger than a monetary return. If one girl is rescued from a life of sexual slavery because of the awareness raised by TOI, then we will say it was worth it," he said.