What is the true story behind "Brokedown Palace"?


"Brokedown Palace" is a fictional account of a vacation gone awry when two teenage girls are unknowingly scammed by heroin smuggler. However, it is not dissimilar to actual accounts of travelers who have been convicted of crimes for which they were unwittingly a part.

In the movie, the two main characters reach a plea bargain to serve 33 years instead of life terms. An American lawyer fights to get them freed and initially strikes a deal with the Thai government, but the Thai government backs out of the deal. In the end, one of the main characters agrees to serve both sentences if her friend is freed. Because the movie "Brokedown Palace" exposes an uglier side to the legal and penal systems of Thailand, the Thai government refused to allow much of the filming to take place in the country. Instead the movie was filmed primarily in the Philippines.

Although the story of "Brokedown Palace" is fictional, the National Geographic Channel airs a program entitled "Locked Up Abroad," a docu-drama that tells the stories of Americans who have been locked up in foreign prisons for crimes similar to that depicted in "Brokedown Palace." In that way, "Brokedown Palace" is a realistic depiction of events that could happen but did not.

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