Sacrifice / Leper / Sky Burial

12/20/2006 12:00 AM |

Three documentaries make up this collection of Ellen Bruno films on social issues in Asia. They vary in quality but all are subtly poetic and unexpectedly life-affirming.
Of the three, Sacrifice is the strongest. Dealing with child prostitution in Thailand, the film is simply a platform for victims to tell their stories, which works precisely because the stories are so riveting. There’s an incredible moment when a woman says she has been forced to have sex with 1,000 men a year, for six years, then says that she doesn’t know what that totals up to, as she has no education to do the math.
The biggest flaw is one of placement. Sacrifice should have been shown first, trading places with Sky Burial, which details burial rites in Nepal. The rites are designed to give the deceased a final sign of respect, in the same way that the film is respectful enough towards its subjects to give them a voice and their dignity. Highly recommended.