Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Writer-director Jim Purdy's low-budget, muckraking drama Foreign Bodies (1994) exhumes and dramatizes the long sub-rosa issue of child prostitution in the United States. It opens with Chanida, a fifteen-year-old Filipino girl, wheedled into the U.S. with the lure of legitimate work. When she finally arrives, she is beaten, imprisoned with other underage Asian American girls, and forced to prostitute herself. Yet ironically, the benefits are not inconsequential: she manages to support her impoverished family in the Philippines with the pithy amount that she earns. Soon, an "ends vs. means" dilemma arises, and although the Feds eventually burst in and make the decision for Chanida, they may - ironically - be darkening her future by shipping her home. Reminiscent of the social consciousness pictures of the thirties, Foreign Bodies stars Shirley Blango, Gerry Mendigino and Gigi de Leon.
America, child-prostitution, Filipino, poverty