San Diego's Starring Role

A powerful new film shot on the streets of San Diego is about to hit theaters.

It was 20 years in the making, but Damian Harris, the son of the late great actor Richard Harris finally got "Gardens of the Night" to the big screen.

The story about throwaway kids growing up on the streets of San Diego is not a feel-good movie. Instead, "recovery time is recommended after seeing [the film], a harrowing, obliquely told story of kidnapping and forced child prostitution that conjures a world entirely populated by predators and prey," according to a New York Times movie review.

 The "Gardens of the Night" begins with a young boy and girl being kidnapped and forced into a world of pornography and prostitution for nine years. The children survive by creating a fantasy world in their bedroom. Years later, the two teenagers cope with life on the streets of San Diego.

The cast features actors like John Malkovich, Tom Arnold and Jeremy Sisto.

Harris, who did a lot of research for the film back in the '80s when the idea first surfaced, says he did come back to San Diego.

"Sadly not much has changed," Harris said. "San Diego has changed a bit, but only because they have become more gentrified and so the kind of street population had been sort of pushed to the outskirts of the city, as opposed to being right in the middle of it," Harris said in an interview published in

The film is rated R and is in limited release. Its scheduled to open Dec 5 at Laemmle's Sunset 5 in West Hollywood.

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