Selling Isobel is based on the true story of Frida Farrell (Isobel) who was conned into visiting a photographer’s apartment and then subsequently kidnapped and sold as a sex slave. Whilst the film is set in American the real story actually took place in London, just behind Oxford Street, it’s not clear why the location was changed.
To co-write and star in a film about a big life experience, particularly one quite so harrowing, is an unimaginable thing. This is exactly what Frida Farrell (Contract Killers, Behind Your Eyes) has done with Selling Isobel. Frida was trapped for three days in an apartment in London and sold to random men, she was one of the less than two percent of sex slaves who manage to escape.
Rudolph Buitendach (Dark Hearts, Where the Road Runs out) is the man behind the camera with Gabriel Olds (Surrogates, lots of TV work) as ‘Peter’ the man who is Isobel’s ‘handler’ and kidnapper, Glynn Turner (Penniless, Terms of Employment) co-wrote alongside Farrell. There are a few other characters on the periphery but the focus is most definitely on Peter and Isobel.
As mentioned previously, I’m unsure why the location was changed from London to USA. I mean, it happens a lot in the movie world but for something of this nature it’s a bit of a surprise. I also feel, being a Brit myself, that it has changed the type of movie that has been created.
I get the sense, had this been a British production, it would have been a lot grittier, a lot darker, whereas what we’ve got is something that feels a little like a TV movie from a production and suspense point of view.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just not quite the gripping, hard-going, tense movie I was expecting. I’d put off watching the film for a few days, figuring I’d need to be in the right frame of mind for a true story of such a subject matter but I needn’t have worried. Perhaps I’m being harsh, perhaps the tone is exactly what they were expecting, it just wasn’t what I was expecting.