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Two sisters are faced with the grim reality of what it takes to make their dreams come true.

Director’s Vision for ‘Rabbit Hole’

These kinds of films are always tough. Many clients in the social justice space are scared to really tell things how they are – understandably so. We didn’t feel hesitation or reservation from SOS at all, but definitely knew that we needed to be extremely delicate with how we toed the line in telling this particular story. For us, what’s most important is making sure the relationships are strong because then the audience will empathize with the emotional journey. If you just focus on the atrocity of sexual trafficking, it’s hard to relate. So, we spent our writing time showing the dynamic of the sisters first. We knew we wanted to show their closeness, but also, how the process of sexual abuse and exploitation starts. Generally, it’s born out of cycles of poverty, lack of opportunity, and other family members who are already involved in the business. There are only a small percentage of kids who get snatched up on the street. So, it was important to us to convey that accurately as well in both the writing and directing.

At the same time, we knew that we had to accurately portray the sexual abuse cycle as well as the fact that it happens – many times – outside of the home. This was a challenge because of the small budget. So, we had to make sure that all of our “trauma” scenes were able to be filmed in one location. That’s kind of how the genesis of the “feelings-based montage” came about. What if we started it off as a narrative, then moved into a more abstract place? Where we could still communicate sexual abuse, but not have to literally show them go from one place to the next and show the brothels and show the male traffickers/buyers and all that stuff. The only scenes that we knew we needed were: 1) A long hallway that we could PD to feel like a hallway in a brothel in order to communicate that it happens outside of the home, and 2) a different room that feels a bit nondescript for the end scene. We had a great scouting team, so after scouting a bunch of locations, we knew we found our home when we found this house that had everything we needed.