Monday, August 20, 2007


Welcome to the Best Australian Film of the Year

The Jammed is one of those films you just can't get out of your head. I've seen it twice and it still gives me chills. If another film comes along this year that is as powerful, as compelling, as skillfully made as this we'll be doing very well indeed.
And if that film also happens to be Australian - or more accurately, as Australian - as The Jammed, it'll be nothing short of miraculous.
A Quick Rave
The Jammed tackles the contemporary, hot-button topic of Melbourne's sex slave trade through the eyes of five women.
Rubi (Sun Park), Crystal (Emma Lung) and Vanya (Saskia Burmeister) are three young women who have been brought into the country on false papers by illegal brothel owners who blackmail them into sexual service. Sunee (Amanda Ma) is a Chinese mother looking for her daughter who she fears has been sold into prostitution.
Their stories are brought together when Ashley (Veronica Sywack), a bored, single insurance clerk, unwittingly becomes involved in the search for a missing girl when she meets Sunee while picking up a friend-of-a-friend at the airport.
What follows is one of the most graphic, realistic and harrowing portraits of the criminal underworld we've seen. The film is unrelenting in its detailed exposition of the physical and psychological conditions these enslaved prostitutes endure.
Great Performances
The standard of the acting throughout is outstanding, with Saskia Burmeister doing a flawless turn as a Russian prostitute - you will not recognise her as the sweet-faced actress from Hating Alison Ashley and Sea Patrol - and Emma Lung proving an absolute revelation as Crystal, the naive girl from Shanghai who comes to Australia on false papers and under the false impression that she is merely going to be "a dancer on the table".
As Ashley, Sywack has the onerous task of driving the narrative. The story pinwheels on her performance and she simply does a superb job, morphing from reluctant Samaritan to a woman compelled by conscience to take action. This leads her into the darker corners of the city and ultimately puts her within arm's reach of some extremely dangerous and violent men who consider rape a managerial tool.
To read the full article and have your say on The Jammed head over to:

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