Girl Lost, originally titled Nowhereland is a gripping tale of a 15 year old girl who must find her way through life as a sex worker, trying to make enough money to simply survive.
Following in the footsteps of her mother, Shara must navigate life though a series of events and unstable and volatile relationships she finds herself in. Girl Lost is a gem, and you will want to watch every frame.
The film (produced by Robin Bain) overall was created to bring awareness of the sex trade industry in the US, and explore the challenges and in many cases, the reality of sex workers and their experiences, especially the underground sex work scene that has many girls unfortunately taken advantage of. Shot on location in LA was a perfect setting as it along with many several other cities are on the map for exploiting girls, and taking advantage of sex workers.
Girl Lost’s style of film, often free hand gives a more gritty, street feel to the film that thrives from scene to scene on this style. Sometimes a little unsettling as you think “amateur”, but quickly snaps into a clean and polished delivery.
The film opens up with the caption “The average age of entry into the U.S. sex trade is 12-14 years old…”, a quick catch all caption that will drive the entire movie. As the caption fades the next scene features young Shara, brilliantly played by Jessica Taylor Haid, being fondled and caressed by her mother’s abusive lover, an near middle aged man with an eye for younger girls.
Shortly after Shara’s mother comes home battered, they leave in the middle of the night to hit the road, escaping the abuse she’s all too use to.
Shara, very well aware of what her mom does to make money is then taken on a series of rides where her mother meets up with men who pays big bucks for an hour of sex.
Shara and her mother Kim, played by actress Robin Bain, have a beautiful and complicated relation ship that the two just can’t seem to get a grip on. Their on screen chemistry is superb, as one can clearly see the love, and complexity of not just their relationship, but the world in which they live.
From one thing to the next, Shara is gradually led into sex work. This occurs in about the second act where her mother dolls her up and takes pictures of her to post online, and Shara begins her sex work.
Surprisingly the film is able to keep you interested throughout, with it’s simple storyline, but it’s really the complex characters that makes the film shine.
Finely written, Girl Lost is a film that covers so much, and can absolutely be triggering to many if you’re not careful. Girl lost thrives on real world themes and hammers it all in with an over arching imagery of drug use, sex, self harm, teenage love, love in general, and throws in an intricate weaving of events that highlight the physical, psychological, and emotional abuse the main characters go through. Reminiscent of many headlines in the news today, you also get a feel that the films creator wanted to bring subject matters as close to home as possible.
Girl Lost is very strong in character composition, story and delivery, and lacks in very little areas. Though the acting is not 100% Oscar winning, but it provides enough depth to compete and at least be in the conversation.
After abandoning her mother, breaking up with her boyfriend (Felix Ryan), Shara finds a bit solace in a sex house where she meets Bridgette, a beautiful young ebony who has dreams of becoming a porn star, then ditching it all for a normal family life. Working here led Shara to a life of intense drug use and more self harm.
Bridgette, played by Emily Cheree, offers Shara support, but does very little to have her escape the unfortunate events she encounters, as Bridgette and Shara share belly griping experiences in a few scenes. The two girls build a relationship that has them looking out for each other. Though it’s hinted that Bridgette plans to leave sex work, you’re left with a sense that she knows that she may never leave, which creates an air of sympathy for the character who at moments you can tell want’s to leave sooner than later.
Without going much further and spoiling more details, Girl Lost manages to hold it’s own as an indie film and it’s no surprise that it’s won numerous awards since 2016 under the title Nowhereland, and then Girl Lost in 2018.
The film can be seen on Amazon Prime, where it was a top trending film on the platform, as well as TubiTV, and streaming app with an incredible amount of on-demand movies and TV Shows for free.
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Girl Lost – Official Trailer