Just as one film about the power of making on-line friends (The Social Network) builds buzz, another is highlighting the hazards of Internet socializing. Trust, directed by Ross David Schwimmer, made its TIFF debut last night. Clive Owen and Catherine Keener star as parents of a young girl (Liana Liberato) who is sexually assaulted by a middle-aged man she meets on-line.
“I thought this is a really strong examination of something that we could all be careful and a little worried about,” says Owen, who has two kids. “I think the way children relate on the Internet is racing ahead so quickly that we have to take check that it’s healthy for our kids … The minute my oldest daughter joined Facebook, she got a number of messages from people she didn’t know to become friends, and this film examines that as a concern.”
Schwimmer, who is one of the board members of the Rape Treatment Center in Santa Monica, added that he used to have a girlfriend who was a victim of sexual abuse.
“I think the issues of the subject matter are incredibly timely. The Internet is a great tool but there are a lot of dangers out there. Eighty-nine per cent of chat rooms are solicited sexually; there are 50,000 predators on-line at any given moment; MySpace just kicked off 90,000 registered sex offenders’ profiles. The facts speak for themselves.”
Trust came to TIFF without a distributor, so the filmmakers are probably hoping to land one here.