Friday, November 15, 2013


Megan Griffiths is the producer of the film Eden. This epic film follows the story of a women kidnapped into American’s human trafficking business.  As the producer realized the challenges that came with making such an intensive film, dealing with a major issue, decisions had to be made. In her interview with Tom Tangney, Megan Griffiths recalls her judgment to remove all nude scenes from the film. This is obviously a major stylistic approach similar to Marleen Gorris whose “typical film objectification of naked women by means of a very controlled camera focus. Undressed, the women are not framed voyeuristically for the viewer but are frequently in close up with the camera at their eye level even when seated” (Humm, p.103). Both women recognize the importance of the focus on the content of the film and not the nudes of the characters. When faced with real issues, and trying to convey human trafficking as it, Megan Griffiths, understood that the focus and presentation of the characters needed to be genuine to the true horrors faced. 

Tom Tangney interviews Eden Director Megan Griffiths 

Eden has been recognized as an interact film reveling a true story. The film has won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the 2012 South by Southwest Film Festival and Best Film at the 2012 San Diego Asian Film Festival. Not only was the film recognized as a major production but the director was also awarded Emergent Narrative Female Director. This award was mostly due to the producer’s refusal to over sexualize Jamie Chung, an actress known for her roles as a sexual figure. As Naomi Wolf notes in her article Culture “Women are mere ‘beauties’ in men’s culture so that can be kept male…women are allowed a mind or a body but not both” (p.59) demonstrating exactly what the director was tying to avoid.

Eden being kidnapped

  In a New York Times article,  Stephan Holder, states “ You may call me naïve, but it is deeply upsetting that “Eden” is set in the United States and that the organization’s boss, Bob Gault (Beau Bridges), is a law-and-order-preaching United States marshal. We imagine this kind of crime flourishing in the shadows of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. But in the United States, with a backslapping good old boy running the operation?” showing the deep effect that the movie had on its viewers. It is no surprise that the setting of the events makes it shocking to most Americans as they try to remove themselves from thinks they believe happen in third world countries. 

While Stephan Holder recognizes this powerful film, FarranSmith Nehme of the New York Post criticizes it stating “'s not a documentary, it isn't entertainment, and aside from Chung's intelligent, dignified performance, this sure as heck isn't art..” which is both harsh and indecipherable. The director herself recognized that this is not a documentary in her interview with Tom Tangney, stating that the women who had experienced these events helped write her story. The lack of entertainment in the movie sense of the word is a given, because the film was made to arise questions and recognize a real problem. It is not a typical film with problems of zombies and fashion disasters like most movies. This film focuses of an issue that is not recognized as a reoccurring event in the United States.

 Eden movie trailer
Overall based on YouTube viewer comments and other review websites the film elicits thoughts about human trafficking in the United States. It produces shock and realization of the distance people have placed between horrific events such as those Eden depicts. This distance is not slowly decreased, but promptly obliterated by the producer who makes the first scene Eden’s kidnapping. Pulling the viewers into the situation and unfolding the evens as the surreal becomes quite real.

Eden Reviews-
Holder, Stephan True Story Inspires Tale of Sex Trade; in a Twist, a U.S. Marshal Is the Bad Guy, The New York Times, online.
Humm, Maggie. Feminism and Film. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1997. Print.
Megan Griffiths-
Wolf, Naomi. The Beauty Myth. Culture. Print
Tom Tangney interviews Eden Director Megan Griffith. YouTube- 

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