Kevin Bales is Freeing the Slaves

It might seem like we’ve been hibernating here at Red Earth but we are busily trying to make a bunch of things come together at once, thus no real news. Hopefully there will be something concrete to tell you about soon!

In the meantime, we’ve been reading this fine book on modern day slavery if anyone is keen on learning everything there is to know on the subject. Melbourne academic Roscoe Howell, who appeared as a guest speaker at our Melbourne Cinema Nova screening last August, penned the book and you can find the order form for it here:

https://www.humanrights.gov.au/pdf/orderForm.pdf

Another very interesting item we found recently was from a chap named Kevin Bales from an organisation he co-started called Free The Slaves. He appeared at a TED talk in 2010 and gave this rousing, and ultimately hopeful, presentation. Very well spoken and gives you a lot of quality info in a condensed programme:

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Jason talks to Brisbane’s Scene Mag

Here’s a link to an interview Jason did with Scene Magazine in Brisbane about the film and our upcoming event at Bleeding Heart:

http://www.scenemagazine.com.au/index.php/arts/60-arts/1553-street-dreams

He’s also appearing on 4ZZZ radio on Friday morning (2 Sept) at 10:10 which can be heard on 102.1 in Brisbane or online at:

http://www.4zzzfm.org.au/

Please pass along these links to anyone you think would be interested in the film and offering some support!

Social justice in Hollywood

Great to see Hollywood bringing some challenging topics to mainstream film: Here’s a couple of links to films that Red Earth has connections to and a heart for…

In Eden, being filmed in Washington State in the US, is based on the true story of our friend Chong Kim who has been advising us with some stuff in Street Dreams and may be a voice in the final film. It tells her amazing and heart-wrenching story of slavery, forced prostitution and ultimately her escape and rehabilitation. Here’s a bit about her story and the shoot:

www.pnwlocalnews.com/east_king/kir/news/128539148.html
www.imdb.com/title/tt1734433/

Even bigger budget is the true story of Sam Childers (Mike is pleased to say that Jason and I had Sam in my loungeroom discussing a possible documentary idea with him prior to the shooting of this feature film!) called Machine Gun Preacher (which is how Sam’s “professional” moniker) starring Gerrard Butler. Check out the action-y trailer but clearly showing the intended heart that both Sam and the film have:

www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi3407191065

Movies like this and things like Blood Diamond or Hotel Rwanda are critical films to get made and released to a broad audience as they show people that “real life” isn’t necessarily what typically happens around the world like we perceive it to from our cozy developed countries. Obviously there’s a fear that Hollywood can glamourise anything, but at least it’s (hopefully) a start of a trend of more social justice-based filmmaking!

Face of Tears

Chong Kim is a woman who we met upon being invited into the Facebook Group “United Front Against Human Trafficking”; she immediately welcomed us and offered to help in any way possible as she was a survivor of human trafficking in the US. She quickly and generously opened herself up to helping us and our film, and proceeded to share with us the (literally) gruesome details of her countless years of child abuse, then trafficked into underage and non-consenting prostitution and the many years of rehab after that. It truly is remarkable that she is able to look at members of the human race with any sort of love, but she does.

For anyone who doesn’t understand just how brutal a human trafficking ordeal can be and just what it does to a person, we invite you to read Chong’s blog entry about her life called “My Real Name.” It is not an easy read and we warn you that she does not pull any punches in what she writes, but what you read will not only make your re-evaluate what you believe is important and difficult in your own life, but will hopefully also make you think harder about acting out against this form of injustice in the world.

Face of Tears: My Real Name

CNN Freedom Project

An excellent blog has been set up by CNN that gives an overview of the problem and then links to many interesting articles and video about the issue of human slavery.

This is a good page with 5 simple things that everyone should know about human slavery; http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/15/5-things-to-know-about-human-trafficking/

The main website is well worth checking out too: http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/

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