Anya is the victim of a deep deception. Someone has lied to her; and because of this lie, she is kept under lock and key, used by her employer to service men, and indebted for the privilege. In exchange, she lives in the United States and fantasizes on a future American freedom. Or as she remarks to a friend, "Would she rather be fucking a dog...or living like a dog?" In Anya’s world, it’s a reasonable question.
Much of I-5 transpires on the eponymous interstate. Anya travels with her “manager” and driver from Los Angeles to Oakland. It’s a macabre journey: a drop at Denny’s, a bad patch of fog, a visit to a “correctional facility,” a rendezvous with an organ grinder, and a dramatic entry across Oakland’s city limits.