Jamie Chung stars in a searing contemporary drama, based on the true story of a Korean-American teenager who is kidnapped from a bar in New Mexico and transformed into a sex slave in Las Vegas by a band of ruthless international thugs. Beau Bridges plays an avuncular federal marshal, a good ol' boy, who turns out to be one of the operation's masterminds while Matt O'Leary is equally repellent as the boss's wildly erratic, drug-addled right-hand man. But it's Chung who breathes life into a story that could have been reduced to violent, even pornographic sensationalism, if not told so compassionately from the victim's point of view. Human trafficking is a $32 billion-a-year business, perpetrated throughout the world. EDEN gives a thoughtful, albeit mind-boggling perspective on how these crimes are sometimes committed in America within plain sight. … More
- R (for disturbing violent and sexual content involving human trafficking, language and drug use)
- Directed By:
- Megan Griffiths , Mia Hansen-Løve
- Written By:
- Megan Griffiths , Richard B. Phillips , Sven Hansen-Løve
- In Theaters:
- Mar 20, 2013 Limited
- On DVD:
- Jun 10, 2013
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Critic Reviews for Eden
Cruelty, bloodletting and death are evident throughout (frequently occurring just outside the frame), and Griffith's laudable discretion actually intensifies their impact.
Griffiths lays bare a many-tentacled trafficking system sickening in its reach.
A quite moving performance comes from Jamie Chung as Eden, repulsion sliding into fearful acceptance without the extinction of hope.
Nearly every second is taken up with the horrors inflicted upon the heroine by the sorriest bunch of good ol' boy sadists since "Deliverance."
Griffiths and her screenwriter, Rick Phillips Jr., manage the tricky business of evoking the specific horrors of sex slavery without languishing in the lurid and graphic.
A few moments harp on the sentimental, but overall, this is a powerful addition to the small collection of films dedicated to spreading awareness of this horrific crime.
Jamie Chung gives a reserved, watchful performance, but the true surprise is perpetual nice guy Beau Bridges in a nasty turn as the head trafficker.
Eden surprises by managing to paint a vivid and disturbing picture of the trafficking experience within the context of a conventional thriller.
Griffiths handles the exploitation with care, hinting at what goes on rather than rubbing our faces in it.
It's based on the experiences of a real life Korean woman, Chong Kim, but you can just tell that many of the facts have been massaged.
Harrowing true events are dramatised with surprising restraint in the low-key Eden.
I would have liked to know more about the criminal setup, though leaving it unexplained gives it a greater tang of evil: a very strong performance from Chung.
Engaging, sharply focussed and pointedly non-exploitative sex trafficking drama with a strong script, assured direction and a terrific central performance from Jamie Chung.
Props to Griffiths for proving that it only takes a very slight shift in tone and focus to give a gory old bike a set of shiny new wheels.
For half an hour, with brutish hunks abusing teens in torn clothes, we think: "Sexploitation!" Then stately, plump Beau Bridges appears, a corrupt federal marshal resembling a gone-to-girth Timothy Spall, and the story starts.
Director-cowriter Megan Griffiths refuses to sensationalise the tabloid aspects of this harrowing true story about human trafficking within the USA.
Director Megan Griffiths wastes a great villain and settles for easy answers in a watchable but by-numbers thriller.
Tackles the issue of sex slavery, but does so in a way that never feels too clumsy or overarching. Instead, it's a character study with thriller elements; it exposes you to a horrible underworld without ever beating you over the head with it.
The intimate scenes between marginalized individuals feeling out complicated relationships. . .gives unusually poignant insight into those caught up in sex trafficking.
Audience Reviews for Eden
To me, films like this are the true definition of horror, because they really happened. Anyone can look up the graphic details on Wikipedia and see that not only did it happen here, but it happened fairly recently. Hyun-Jae was just a typical California teenager, who went out to party one night. She met a man, left with him, and quickly learned he wasn't what he appeared to be. Hyun-Jae is sold into prostitution and has no other choice, but to be a sex slave for the next three years. The film was very well done, in that it didn't go over the top. Abduction of Eden showed us, what we needed to see, in order to understand and be shocked by what happened, but it didn't go so far as to desensitize us to the story. Jamie Chung, A.K.A. Stu's wife from the Hangover, stars as Hyun Jae, and her performance was really key to how the audience would react to what was happening. Equally as good, was the jailer, Matthew O'Leary. It took me a while to recognize his as the kid from Domestic Disturbance and Spy Kids 2, and it was shocking to see how quickly he grew up. He was this horrible guy, doing terrible things, but there was a part of you that saw him as trapped as the girls were and you couldn't help but feel sorry for him. The cast makes the film, it's as simple as that. Abduction of Eden was a story that was fast moving and somewhat graphic, but ultimately predictable. Films like this one could go either way, it all comes down to just what they show and who they cast, and the producers of this film did an outstanding job of both.More
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