Review: ‘The Day My God Died’

This informative docu about the horrors of the international sex trade is more notable for its subject than for its execution. "The Day My God Died" is often hindered by its conventional assembly and needlessly starry participation of narrators Tim Robbins and Winona Ryder. Decent festival exposure should lead to international tube sales.

This informative docu about the horrors of the international sex trade (with a focus on India) is more notable for its subject than for its execution. Shedding overdue light on a $1 billion per year industry into which 2,500 women are “sold” daily, “The Day My God Died” is often hindered by its conventional assembly and needlessly starry participation of narrators Tim Robbins and Winona Ryder (who also produced pic). Decent festival exposure should lead to international tube sales.

Bombay, pic contends, is home to the world’s most concentrated red-light district, with a population larger than Salt Lake City, much of it consisting of kidnapped girls well below the legal age. Corrupt local authorities, many of them loyal customers themselves, turn a blind eye to the brothels. Meanwhile, privately-funded relief organizations — three of which become pic’s central focus — try to rescue these girls and heal their psychological wounds. Director Andrew Levine structures pic with the dire earnestness of a Save the Children infomercial, but pic is affecting nonetheless, particularly when confronting viewers with the harrowing testimonials of those who have lived to tell their own horrific tales.

The Day My God Died

Production

An Andrew Levine Prods. presentation. (International sales: Andrew Levine Prods., Park City, Utah.) Produced by Geralyn Dreyfous, Levine, Winona Ryder. Co-producers, Ted Baer, Ravi Baral. Directed by Andrew Levine. Written by Cari Beauchamp.

Crew

Camera (color, video), Basil Katasaounis, Jurg Walther; editor, Tamera Martin; co-editor, Pam Wise; music, David Robbins; sound, James Elgee. Reviewed on videocassette at Vancouver Film Festival (Nonfiction Features), Oct. 9, 2003. (Also in Santa Barbara Film Festival.) Running time: 59 MIN.

With

Narrators: Tim Robbins, Winona Ryder.

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