Ellen Bruno: Sacrifice (The Story of Child Prostitutes from Burma)
Each year thousands of young girls are recruited from rural Burmese villages to work in the sex industry in neighboring Thailand. Held for years in debt bondage in illegal Thai brothels, they suffer extreme abuse by pimps, clients, and the police.
The trafficking of Burmese girls has soared in recent years as a direct result of political repression in Burma. Human rights abuses, war and ethnic discrimination has displaced hundreds of thousands of families, leaving families with no means of livelihood. An offer of employment in Thailand is a rare chance for many families to escape extreme poverty.
Sacrifice examines the social, cultural, and economic forces at work in the trafficking of Burmese girls into prostitution in Thailand. It is the story of the valuation and sale of human beings, and the efforts of teenage girls to survive a personal crisis born of economic and political repression.
National Educational Film Festival
Religion Today Film Festival, Italy
Golden Spire Award
San Francisco International Film Festival
Documentary Film Competition
Sundance Film Festival
REVIEWS "Sacrifice counterpoints forthright tales of four young prostitutes with mesmerizing images: a woman standing in a door frame awaiting her fate juxtaposed with farmers cultivating the fields. The images make a poignant plea for survival, both of the exiled women and the tormented land."
— Andrea Alsberg, Sundance Film Festival
"Sacrifice offers a view of the terrible odds faced by women born into poverty where the only commodity for sale are their bodies. These are complicated stories that get beneath tabloid headlines to capture, with great visual invention, the dignity and damaged nobility of young Burmese victims. The lives of these women are revealed to be the stuff of fairy tale… the magic goes bad and the witch, the ogre, and the monster win the day in this chilling view of sexual exploitation…one we have never seen before."
— B. Ruby Rich, San Francisco Bay Guardian
"Compelling interviews and beautiful photography create a complex portrait of economic conditions in Burma, and the impact this has on families, rural villages and the young women themselves."
— San Francisco International Film Festival
" Unflinching in its account of abuse and corruption, SACRIFICE derives much of its power from the testimonies of four girls, who speak directly to viewers with a painful directness beyond their young years. Bruno demonstrates an exceptional knack for conveying the complex facts and emotional upheaval of globally relevant true stories. In the sobering yet poetic Sacrifice, Bruno presents the terribly moving first-person accounts of four young girls from Burma who were virtually kidnapped from their homes and forced into a life of prostitution in Thailand. As with all her films. Bruno approaches difficult issues with the intent of uncovering hard truths and giving voice to people who are too often marginalized or misrepresented by mainstream media."
— Steven Jenkins, FILM/TAPE WORLD
"Sacrifice illuminates a difficult subject of major social consequence with integrity and objective attachment. Told with delicate simplicity, Sacrifice paints a picture of an unfamiliar reality that is, by turns, unbelievably ugly and startlingly beautiful. The heartbreakingly eloquent words of the girls leads viewer into a society whose more are almost completely alien to our own."
— Laurence Vittes, The Hollywood Reporter