The Long Night Movie – Saving our Teens

As part of the Global Team of 200, I was given the opportunity to view the movie The Long Night, by documentarian Tim Matsui.

Here’s a description from the website:

The Long Night is a feature documentary film produced in partnership with MediaStorm. It gives voice and meaning to the crisis of minors who are forced and coerced into the American sex trade. The film weaves together the stories of seven people whose lives have been forever changed by this issue.

long night movieThe Long Night is not themed to advocate a solution. Instead, it submerges the viewer in the experience of what it has been like for Natalie and Lisa to survive in the life; for Tom and Nacole to watch their daughter slip out of their hands; for Andy and his fellow police officers, Brian and Joel, to try and create a more just system.

The Long Night is testimony to the lives of those who have lived this crisis.

The movie was heartbreaking to watch – especially since I have a daughter who is only slightly older than Lisa and Natalie.  Boo and her friends are at even greater risk of being exploited because they are transgendered.

Some of what I gleaned from watching the movie:

  • long night movieI was struck by the pain in Natalie’s eyes as she explained how she had been sucked into prostitution.
  • The parents wondered what they did wrong to cause their daughter to run away.
  • Pimps=Sociopaths (probably not always true, but this was my impression)
  • Until recently there were no programs in place to help girls leave a life of prostitution and transition back to a “normal” life.

The Good News:

Police officers in Seattle started an NGO (non-governmental agency) called The Genesis Project, in 2011.  Here’s what officer Andy Conner has to say about it:

As a drop-in center for victims of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking, GP now provides that third option I never had before. It’s a place I can take these girls that isn’t a jail cell that just holds them without helping. And it isn’t a youth facility that simply doesn’t have the resources to address the crushing needs in their lives.

Tim Matsui’s film is part of Leaving the Life, a multi-platform initiative to facilitate a collective action-oriented dialog around the crisis of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking of children in the U.S.

Watch The Long Night.

Follow on Facebook/Twitter.

Follow Leaving the Life on Facebook.

Teenage prostitution and sex-trafficking are not just a problem in Seattle, but nation-wide.

How Can You Help?

• First, think about your sphere of influence
• Then, watch the film at http://thelongnightmovie.com
•Follow on social media (see links above)
• Invite your friends to do the same
• Comment on the film. On your page or on the film’s.
• Tweet about it.

• Share a story. Share your own Call to Action.
• Host a living room screening of the film
• Bring the film to your PTA or PEPS group
• Integrate it into your schools
• Call your city officials and ask they watch the film.
• Get the film to your local police chief
• Get your mayor on board
• Find local victim service providers and ask what they need; socks, meals, donations for their annual fundraiser, they’ll know. And then let your community know what you did, inspire them!
• Have Leaving the Life come to your municipality to facilitate the co-creation of solutions in day-long convenings. This will take some work, even if you’re the mayor or the county executive.
• Because it’s all connected, consider donating to your favorite non profit working on a social justice issue. This includes Leaving the Life (link: http://www.leaving-the-life.com/take-action/)

What conversations can you have in your community about the problem of sex-trafficking?

Idina Menzel Holiday Wishes Review #HolidayWishes #O2O

Title: Holiday Wishes

Artist/Band: Idina Menzel

Genre: Holiday Pop

Label: Warner Bros.

Release Date: October 14, 2014

Holiday Wishes, a Christmas album recorded by Tony Award-winning singer/actor Idina Menzel, is out now on Warner Bros. Records.

Idina Menzel Holiday Wishes reviewThe album was produced by Grammy Award-winner Walter Afanasieff (Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey) and features such classic favorites as “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” as well as Joni Mitchell’s Christmas-themed “River,” one of Menzel’s favorites.

Another highlight is a duet with international superstar Michael Bublé on “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” An exclusive Target edition of Holiday Wishes features two bonus tracks, including “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”.

Idina’s career has traversed stage, film, television, and music. She was most recently heard as Elsa in Disney’s global box-office smash Frozen, in which she sings the film’s Oscar-winning song “Let It Go.” After her performance of the multi-platinum song at the 86th annual Academy Awards, she made history as the first person with both a Billboard Top 10 hit and a Tony Award for acting.

Idina currently stars as Elizabeth in the original Broadway production of If/Then.

My Review:

I loved Idina Menzel on Glee as Rachel’s mother, and I had heard her version of Defying Gravity from Wicked.  But I most identify her currently as the voice of Elsa from Frozen.

That being said, I have to admit that as I listened to the first couple of songs on Menzel’s new album, Holiday Wishes, I had a hard time separating Menzel’s voice from the character of Elsa in the movie.  But once I got to “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, her duet with Michael Buble’, I was hooked on her distinctive voice and ease behind a microphone.

Check out this trailer from the album:

Some of my other favorites were “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, “All I Want for Christmas is You”, and “Holly Jolly Christmas” (I dare you not to smile when you hear this song!!)

I think Holiday Wishes is a fun album. It’s  easy to listen to and evokes the nostalgia of the holiday.  I give Holiday Wishes four microphones.  I believe this album will be a Christmas mainstay for many years to come.

Purchase Holiday Wishes on Itunes/Amazon.

Follow Idina Menzel on Website/Facebook/Twitter/Youtube.

I participated in the Idina Menzel Holiday Wishes album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided an album to review but all opinions are my own.