Australian documentary has local ties

Film screening at Star Cinema sheds light on Southeast Asia’s sex industry

The screening of a documentary with local ties on Monday, July 22 at Star Cinema will offer a glimpse into the dark world of human trafficking.

The documentary Street Dreams was co-created, produced, edited and shot by Mike Crowhurst — an ex-pat Canadian who lives in Australia and who’s mother and father live in Sidney. Crowhurst also co-owns the production company Red Earth Film.

“The screening in Canada was more of a chance opportunity simply because I am going to be in the country on holiday anyway, but it is technically the first screening internationally, so we’re excited to have non-Aussie audiences watch it for the first time,” Crowhurst said in an email to the News Review, adding that if the team can manage it, there may be a Vancouver screening as well.

The film centres around the billion dollar sex industry in South East Asia and the girls who service it. During the film, Crowhurst said the audience is taken throughout Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and the Philippines to discover first-hand who is paying the heaviest price in this region’s growing flesh trade.

Through intimate interviews with girls previously and presently caught up in prostitution along with those attempting to save them, the audience is exposed to the harsh and little-known realities of life in the sex industry.

With undercover footage taken by hidden cameras, the film shows disturbing but powerful images, including never-before-seen footage of the attempted rescue of a 17-year-old girl from a Bangkok brothel.

Finally, the film turns its attention to the audience. Having seen the inspirational work of many organizations and individuals in the film, viewers are challenged and encouraged to join the struggle against the emerging sex trade.

The screening at Star Cinema will be the first Canadian screening of the documentary, something which Crowhurst said is designed to raise awareness around the issue of the sex industry in South East Asia.

“The aim of the screenings [in Canada] is to attract not only regular citizens of B.C. to learn more about human trafficking and modern day slavery, but also to interest members of government, local NGOs and media to the event to see how the film, and our forthcoming series on slavery, can do to help awareness. A lot of people in countries like Canada, the U.S. and Australia don’t realize just how significant of a role they play in all this.”

Admission for the screening of Street Dreams on Monday, July 22 at 1 p.m. is $6 and donations will be taken at the door as well. Crowhurst will be on hand after the screening to answer questions.

For more information, visit redearthfilms.com.au.

— With files from Mike Crowhurst