“Xia Aimei” takes on human trafficking and sexual slavery from a different angle, by telling the story from a foreign victim’s perspective. It is widely known that human trafficking in Indonesia often involves underage girls from places like China and Eastern Europe.
The story follows the life of Xia Aimei (Franda), a young girl from Yangshuo, China, whose family falls into debt after the death of her father. To pay the debt, Aimei’s uncle offers her a “holy job” to help the family. Aimei, who feels obligated to help her mother, agrees to go with him.
As it turns out, the job is not “holy” at all. Aimei is brought to Jakarta to work as a prostitute. She is sold to Jack (Ferry Salim), the owner of Le Mansion, a club notorious for offering its customers women from China and Uzbekistan.
In the club, Aimei meets Jack’s assistant, Nancy (Olga Lydia), who changes Aimei’s name to Xi Xi. Because Xi Xi is a virgin, Jack can charge his customers a higher price for her, and she is told to sleep with the highest bidder.
Xi Xi, who doesn’t speak Indonesian or English, refuses.
She manages to escape her sexual captivity and sneaks into a jeep belonging to AJ Park (Samuel Rizal) and his friend Timun (Gilang Dirgahari), who are accompanying a client to Le Mansion. When AJ and Timun discover Xi Xi in their vehicle, they manage to overcome the language barrier and figure out what happened to her. The men, with the help of an undercover immigration agent conducting an investigation of Le Mansion, decide to help her return to China. The agent is played by Norman Kamaru, a former member of Indonesia’s Mobile Brigade (Brimob) whose YouTube video “Chaiyya Chaiyya” went viral last year.
The film is the directorial debut of 30-year-old Alyandra, who has previously directed music videos with notable Indonesian musicians including Anang Hermansyah and Agnes Monica.
“Chinese people and their culture are always so close to us, so I guess people will accept this film,” he said after the film’s premiere at Plaza Indonesia Cinema XXI on Thursday.
For Alyandra, the film is not only about human trafficking, but about a girl fighting for her dignity. Human trafficking, he says, is a worldwide problem that may never end.
The film features dialogue in three languages: Mandarin, Indonesian and English.
The film was shot in Jakarta and Yangshuo over 12 days. The final product was completed in two and a half months.
“Jamila dan Sang Presiden” (“Jamila and the President”), an Indonesian film tells the story of Jamila, a sex worker sold by her own mother, was released in 2009 by social activist and theater figure Ratna Sarumpaet.
“Virgin 3” a movie that focused on human trafficking and Jakarta’s nightlife.