295th Meeting – Tuesday, October 16th 2007
A talk and documentary film presentation by Hseng Noung of the Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN)
Second showing of the documentary to an audience of more than 80
Each year thousands of young girls are recruited
Burmese villages to work in the sex industry in neighboring
The trafficking of Burmese girls has soared in recent years as a direct result of political repression in
Sacrifice examines the social, cultural, and economic forces at work in the trafficking of Burmese girls into prostitution in
National Educational Film Festival
Religion Today Film
Sundance Film Festival
Charlotte Film Festival
These reviews reflect the compassion and empathy with which the film was made, and the impact of “Sacrifice” on those who watch it.
counterpoints forthright tales of four young
prostitutes with mesmerizing images: a woman standing in a door frame
her fate juxtaposed with farmers cultivating the fields. The images
poignant plea for survival, both of the exiled women and the tormented
— 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."
“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 ability 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
— 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 lead viewers into a society whose mores are almost completely alien to our own."
— Laurence Vittes, The
international relief worker Ellen Bruno has spent much of the last 20
Ellen completed a Master’s degree in documentary film at
Ellen was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1998, a Rockefeller Fellowship in 1997, fellowships from the Western States Media Arts, and a Shenkin Fellowship from Yale University School of Art.
Ellen Bruno’s website: www.brunofilms.com
Hseng Noung – Assistant director of “Sacrifice”
Hseng Noung was born
She has worked as a freelance photographer since 1983. In December 1995, she became one of six human rights monitors from around the world to be honoured by Human Rights Watch for her work in helping girls and young women from Burma lured into the sex trade in Thailand, and in exposing the networks behind this deplorable trade in human beings.
On March 28th 1999, Hseng Noung together with 40 Shan women founded the Shan Women's Action Network.
She is currently an advisory team member of the Shan Women's Action Network and is also a Presidium Board Member of the Women's League of Burma (WLB), which was established on December 9th 1999 and comprises 12 women’s organizations.