This is the story of Sonia, a young woman who abandons her family and her boyfriend in Saint Petersburg and decides to leave without looking back. Sonia lives in the illusion of a new life, but she enters the hell of those to whom life has nothing to offer. She crosses Europe, from Russia to Portugal, and experiences all the misery and degradation of human trafficking and exploitation.
The story of another Europe, in a radical style which avoids conventional narrative, by Teresa Villaverde, one of the leading directors of Portuguese young cinema (Três irmãos – Two Brother, My Sister, 1994; Os Mutantes – The Mutants, 1998).
Born in Lisbon in 1966, Teresa Villaverde is one of the leading directors of the young generation of Portuguese cinema of the 90s. Her first film, Idade Maior, received its world premiere at the International Forum of Young Cinema at the 1989 Berlin Film Festival and won prizes in other major festivals. Three years later, Maria de Medeiros won the Best Actress Prize at the Venice Film Festival for her performance in Tres Irmaos. The screening of Os Mutantes in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival brought her work greater international recognition. The film was a critical and commercial success in Portugal. Agua e sal, her next film, was shown at the Venice Film Festival. Since her last film, Villaverde has made a documentary, A Favor da claridade, and a short, Cold Wa(te)r, for the Visions of Europe project coordinated by Zentropa. Transe is her fifth film. —quinzaine-realisateurs.com
Extraordinary feature from director Teresa Villaverde looking at the sexual exploitation of immigrants in Europe. Sonia's journey from Russia to Germany promises a possibility of making some money and improving her life but she is abducted and sold first to a whorehouse and later to a wealthy man in Italy as a toy for his challenged son. The degradation and humiliation is often hard to take but Moreira is amazing.