Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Trade of Inncocents

When Laurie and Bill Bolthouse were asked by their friend, Christopher Bessette, to help produce a movie based on some undercover filming he had done in Cambodia, they jumped at the chance. "Our family was living in Cambodia about five years ago and we unexpectedly got to meet several girls that had recently been rescued from a brothel," said Laurie. "To say we were overwhelmed by the experience would be an understatement."

Together, they began a two-and-half-half-year effort based on Bassette's screen play and are now working with distributors on a fall theatrical release. "The movie is rated PG-13 so we hope a broad audience will see it," said Laurie. "Our goal is not to make it salacious or graphic film but one that is serious and offers hope."

The movie, Trade of Innocents, will be given a premiere screening next week at a Yale School of Law symposium, April 12th and 13th. The symposium will feature several speakers and panelists including the U.S. Deputy Attorney General, representatives from Polaris Project, the International Justice Mission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Laurie and Bill Bolthouse (Producers), Christopher Bessette (Director/Writer) and Jim Schmidt (Producer) will speak to conference attenders about the making of the movie.

"We want the movie-goer to join the hard work already being done out there," said Laurie. "We can't encourage people enough to research this on their own and to join the local, national and international organizations who are passionate about fighting this terrible evil."

According to Laurie, one of the biggest needs that survivors of human-trafficking face, is the lack of aftercare. This is the need that Amirah Boston seeks to address by providing long-term care and restoration for such girls.

"We can't assume the problem goes away when the perpetrator gets sentenced," said Laurie. "Most programs stop at around six months and that's tragic for healing."

Laurie mentioned several ways that people can get involved in fighting human trafficking, such as sponsoring a child to reduce the vulnerabilities of a child overseas, supporting existing aftercare homes, and encouraging groups that are already working hard on these issues. She says it starts with realizing that each person has both the tendency to exploit others - "whether it be altering our taxes or manipulating co-workers for our own gain" - and also the desire to heal and restore others. We need to be united in focusing our energy on the latter.

"I believe it's one of the few issues that cuts across religious, gender, political and racial boundaries," she said."I hope this human rights issue unites all people."

Filming the movie in Bangkok
The symposium and screening are free and open to the public.  Please register here


  1. Thanks, I have seen posters about this but did not know the story behind it.

  2. Two thumbs way up - for the movie's mission, and for this blog post. I want to see the film.