Fantine dreamed a dream…a reality still today

Life has killed the dream…I dreamed! {Anne Hathaway as Fantine in Les Miserable}

Today, I watched in amazement at the movie musical of Les Miserables. The passion, the power, the inspiration that is brought to the table while you watch the musical…jaw dropping. This is not a review of the movie, at least not intentionally, but I do want to commend the entire cast and crew at a powerful production.

Probably the most famous song of the musical is the song “I dreamed a dream”. As Anne Hathaway sang the song, I felt the emotion of what Fantine [her character] would have felt. I felt the brokenness, the heartache, the bitterness, and above all the loss. I found myself during her song…actually crying. For anyone who knows me well knows it takes a lot for me to cry in a movie. That song did it.

For anyone that hasn’t seen the musical [or movie version], Fantine is a younger single mother who loses her job and left destitute having her daughter kept with a corrupt innkeeper. She is desperate, lost, and broken. Her vulnerability was exploited. She cut off all her hair for a mere 10 Franks. She had teeth removed for more Franks. The pinnacle of her despair led her to being forced into prostitution. After her first sexual encounter, she is left weeping, broken, and shamed. She had a dream that was lost that day. At one point before the song (where she first prostitutes herself), she actually sings “they don’t even know they make love with someone already dead…” [referring to the men she has to sleep with].

[a trafficking picture] [a trafficking picture]

During that song, my heart sank deeply. Though Fantine is not real, her story is very much alive. She represents a group of women and girls, and even men and boys, all over the world that are forced to leave behind any dreams of a better life to service someone sexually. They no longer live, but walk as empty vessels. No hope. No dream. Nothing. Empty. As Fantine sang, “someone already dead”. No woman or girl [or anyone for that matter] should ever have to go through that hell. No one should have to resort to sexual slavery, whether by choice or force or because of circumstance. It is hell on earth. Something needs to be done for the women (and men) walking dead like Fantine. Victims of a broken world. Lost and nameless to most. But they still matter.

What if we can instill hope? What if we can inspire? What if one of those women or girls, men and boys dreamed again…? What if life actually hasn’t killed their dream? What if they could be restored?

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