VIFF 2014: India's Lakshmi exposes sex trafficking issues

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      Lakshmi (India)

      A 14-year-old village girl is abducted and forced into sex work at a brothel. After escaping the clutches of her pimp, she finds enough support to launch a longshot lawsuit against her captors. The troubling tale sheds light on human trafficking and sex work. There are some genuine twists brought to light during the trial, thanks to the story being based on real-life events. However, Nagesh Kukunoor's film, with its intrusive and confusing use of saccharine music and flashbacks (and sometimes simplistic displays of emotion), is more influenced by Bollywood storytelling than Indian art-house films. Violence is displayed in graphic, sometimes shocking, ways, while sexual activity is discreetly hinted at. If these elements help the story to reach a wider South Asian audience, then so be it—for the sake of addressing the complicated and upsetting issues that the film exposes.

      No remaining screenings.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at