I have been questioned about my motives for making the film “Happy Endings?” I have always been questioned about this. Even when I started the film, the women would ask me why am I interested in this topic. I am putting this clip up so you can see one of the women ask me this very question.
I have Johns attacking me because they think I am trying to close the massage parlors. I have people in the Coalition Against Trafficking questioning my motives. I have RI State represenatives saying that I am misrepresenting the issues. I find this all to be very interesting seeing that none of these people or groups have seen the film.
I have reached out to the Coalition Against Human Trafficking on many occasions and tried to set up a screening for them. Here is one of the emails I sent and after sending the information, trying a few times to set up a screening, they never contacted me back. But my story, or actually my truth, stays the same. They asked why I made this film and how I got the interviews, this was my response.
I was going to grad school for Gender and Ethnic studies at Simmons. I didn’t get into the program, and I was always making films. This woman I had worked with at the time had inherited a 3 family house in Providence. In the house was a Korean woman and her husband, an American. One day at work I was talking about how I wanted to do a film on the sex industry in RI because I had heard about how it was big in this state. (I went to Providence College, a priest I had said that RI was actually a tourist destination for sex travel because it had more sex clubs than any where else in the east coast beside NY) At the same time it came up in the news about the prostitution law, and this woman I work with said how she was renting a appt to this couple and she was friends with them. At the time she was going to sell the house, so I helped her clean it out and met them. “Heather and Chris” in my film. It is funny because the woman who I worked with had grown up in the house and her father had hidden money all over the house. I found 5,000 in the basement and brought it to her so “Heather and Chris” saw me do this and really trusted me because of this. I would never steal anyway. Heather didn’t speak English too fluently, I went to Brown and found students to translate for me. That was the best thing to do, basically because when they translated for me they would give me back the translations with footnotes, cultural references and things like that. It was very interesting to read things like that, things I would never know about Korean culture. I am attaching one of the notes that my translators made on Heather about the spa industry.
Basically this is what I think about the film. I put all points of views in the film so people can make up their own mind on the subject, and more likely than not everyone will hate it. The Johns are represented in the chat rooms. The ALCU is represented, the police are represented, the politicians are represented, and the women in the business are represented. I never saw any women who were trafficked. I met a ton of women, even though only 3 are on film.
I am sure there are women and children who are trafficked, but none in the spas that I was in. Actually when women were asked to leave because their gambling problems were interfering with work they would ask me to go to Heather or Chris on their behalf to try and let them stay there.
There is one thing I learned through out this whole process, believe none of what you hear and none of what you see, and trust no one.
It will be interesting to see what is said tomorrow on the Dan Yorke Show.