The Absence of Eden

The Absence of Eden
The Absence of Eden
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In a divided border town, a Mexican woman fleeing violence, and an ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agent are inexorably drawn towards each other. The Absence of Eden is a frank depiction of human trafficking, the exploitation of undocumented people, as well as the different ways that those in charge react to these issues. Author and first-time director Marco Perego uses religious and poetic imagery to illustrate the struggles of these individuals who seek escape and better lives. But his heavy-handedness does not allow for every body to be painted with same brush. He lacks subtlety on a divisive issue that is anything but simple.

A lecherous cartel member watches Esmeralda “Esme” Rojas (Zoë Saldaña) deliver him a lap dance in a cheap strip club in Mexico. She always refuses for something more until he will not let her go. In Texas across the border Shipp (Garrett Hedlund) ignores phone calls from his estranged father while on training at ICE Academy. There he meets Evans (Chris Coy), his new partner who hates undocumented immigrants so much like all those experienced agents.

In Mexico, Esme collects all she owns before tearfully kissing her abuela good bye laden with hope that all her life savings will suffice to pay the coyote; it has to be now before cartels get her. On reaching Texas, Shipp goes into a bar where he contemplates for some time about Evans’ behavior and attitude during their first day working together as partners.Esme sees Yadira (Adria Arjona), Yadiraa beautiful raven-haired woman dancing with another man; suddenly something lights up between them.

The journey through desert begins roughly for Esme.Just wants to wet his beak,” says the coyote demanding extra payment.The terrified girl hides among huddled group.Defilingly, the coyote walks past approaching young girl’s mother (Morningstar Angeline) who is crouching on the ground with her child Esme pleads for him to stop as he advances toward her. He forces his way through, impressed with Esme’s boldness. Can she speak English? Esme trembles but replies affirmatively. The coyote gives her a card upon which there is a phone number. If she gets across the border, his cousin will have a job waiting for her in Texas. In Texas, Shipp prepares for his first raid with Evans and still thinks about Yadira before Evans goes into action.

Perego, Saldaña’s partner in production as well as personal life, highlights how women and girls risk their lives to get into America illegally.Exposed to rape, robbery and possible murder this includes even while they are helpless.Horrors don’t stop even after they have been successful.Esme ends up more indebted to the gang that helped her cross.She is completely controlled by these individuals without any escape or ability to refuse.Where can she go? Who would assist? American police are not her saviors.She will be sent back to cartel’s vengeance.

Shipp struggles with being an officer of justice.In fact he does not even know whether Yadira has papers or not.Their relationship could potentially violate his sworn duty to uphold law and order.Evans regards every Mexican as an enemy.How would he react if Yadira were undocumented?Shipp knows that if he makes the wrong choice he could lose everything.Love doesn’t conquer all according to Evans and the US government.

The Absence of Eden is written from the viewpoint of an individual with a definite perspective. The undocumented are desperately in need while the ICE is a heartless beast in their merciless responsibilities. This difference is clear-cut and totally unfair. Evans has never been termed as a bad apple spoiling an entire bunch. His cruelty is similar to that of the Mexican cartel and drug lords who manipulate Esme. Not at all true.

For border patrol agents, they risk their lives every day while working in an environment that is central to a human tragedy. They do not have control over immigration policy. Making generalizations and placing them alongside despicable crime syndicates however, is an inappropriate false analogy. For instance, there’s no evidence that ICE agents molest or murder the illegals en masse though it’s easy to assume so. Sadly enough, these immigrants take such risks because they believe America offers better opportunities than what their own countries can give them. That isn’t always necessarily true though; consider Esme’s case for example – she would have been better off staying in Mexico.

Perego combines astrological images of space and stars with Esme’s religious faith that God will save her soul which remains only speculative though logical at some point or another.Perego does not make his intentions known about this matter.In this case one can infer that the title refers to the earth as paradise lost by those without papers.It confuses more than anything else—this complicates things further.

The Absence of Eden elicits much feeling due to your pity for Esme’s terrible situation. She faces honest reality and cruelty.That being said there needs to be equal regard on the other side.Border protectors are generally decent people.They should not be generally chided for doing what they need to survive.

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