TradeOctober 18, 2007
Adriana is a 13-year-old girl from Mexico City whose kidnapping by sex traffickers sets in motion a desperate mission by her 17-year-old brother…
Release Year: 2007
Rating: 7.5/10 (9,720 voted)
Critic's Score: 42/100
Stars: Kevin Kline, Kathleen Gati, Paulina Gaitan
Adriana is a 13-year-old girl from Mexico City whose kidnapping by sex traffickers sets in motion a desperate mission by her 17-year-old brother, Jorge, to save her. Trapped and terrified by an underground network of international thugs who earn millions exploiting their human cargo, Adriana's only friend and protector throughout her ordeal is Veronica, a young Polish woman tricked into the trade by the same criminal gang. As Jorge dodges immigration officers and incredible obstacles to track the girls' abductors, he meets Ray, a Texas cop whose own family loss to sex trafficking leads him to become an ally in the boy's quest. Fighting with courage and hard-tested faith, the characters of Trade negotiate their way through the unspeakable terrain of the sex trade "tunnels" between Mexico and the United States. From the barrios of Mexico City and the treacherous Rio Grande border…
Writers: Jose Rivera, Peter Landesman
Kate del Castillo
Pasha D. Lychnikoff
You'll pay for this.
Release Date: 18 October 2007
Filming Locations: Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $118,086
(30 September 2007)
(21 October 2007)
Did You Know?
Milla Jovovich was going to play Veronica, but backed out of the role.
When Kevin Kline's character brings young Adriana into the bedroom of the house, Manuelo can be heard locking, what seems to be, numerous deadbolts outside of the room. When the door is opened to see if they are done, you don't see any locks on the door.
Happy birthday, Princess!
Powerful message with entertainment value, and it works
I attended a screening of "Trade" at the Santa Barbara International
Film Festival. All week, films had been relatively disappointing. And
then this powerful work came along.
It probably is sufficient to say that its subject is child trafficking,
in this case, from Mexico to the US. Audiences will recognize Kevin
Kline. The other leads are a 13 year-old girl (Paulina Gaitan) and her
17 year-old brother (Cesar Ramos). The film rests largely on the
shoulders of these two innocents, and it's on the basis of their
performances, even more than the subject matter, that I consider this a
Check out this pedigree. "Trade" was written by Jose Rivera (who wrote
"The Motorcycle Diaries"). It is based on a New York Times Magazine
article. It was originally supposed to be directed by Roland Emmerich
(who wrote, directed, and produced "The Day After Tomorrow"). But
Emmerich had a conflict, so he ended up producing it along with Rosilyn
Heller (who produced "American Heart," a favorite of mine starring Jeff
Bridges and Edward Furlong). In turn Marco Kreutzpaintner was hired to
direct, a German filmmaker who had a connection to Emmerich through
another producer. It was a fortuitous set of circumstances. It's a $12
million indie backed by German funds, Emmerich's own pockets, and Lions
Gate, who will be distributing it.
This is quite a moving film and, although it's easy to argue the case,
it does not exploit the kids itself in its effort to expose the horrors
of child exploitation. While it has some Hollywood moments thrown in
for commercial appeal, it's still as compelling as any film I've seen
recently. The acting is frighteningly real. A good part of the film is
a bit of a road movie where Kline and the boy bond — he needs a male
role model, Kline's life on the road is a lonely existence, you know
the drill. Kline's relationship with the boy reminded me of his pairing
with Hayden Christensen in "Life as a House." He's good at it, and it's
a casting coup that helps put the icing on the cake. The other part of
the film focuses on the harsh reality of child trafficking and follows
several victims through their ordeals. But Kreutzpaintner's narrative
never loses sight of its heartbreaking subject matter.
Director Kreutzpaintner and producer Heller were there for a Q&A. I
asked about the casting. He said the boy and girl were found during
auditions in Mexico City. He was just the second one they saw. They
kept looking, but eventually came back to him. He had never acted
before. The girl had done a bit before, but not much. What an
auspicious debut. These are two to watch.
There are many "oh my God" moments. It ultimately is a "message" film
in that it exposes the horrors of child trafficking, but it's also made
for commercial appeal and should resonate with the larger audience.
It's hard to pull off this kind of film and make it work. How does one
entertain without hitting the viewer with a sledgehammer? It's a
delicate balance, and this one weighs in perfectly.