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Review: Girl Model

Stuck in rural Siberia with no exciting future prospects and a family breathing in their neck, girls as young as 12 try to break through as models. In their minds life will be good for them and their families as long as they work hard and do as told. The reality however, as the film Girl Model shows us, is very different.

The thirteen year old Nadya is picked out from hundreds of wishful girls to start a new exciting modelling career in Japan. Full of hope and dreams she leaves her family behind and heads to what has been described to her as more or less ‘the promised land’. But no sooner has she landed in Tokyo and the depressing reality of a very harsh immoral industry is revealed to us, not just by Nadya but also through the stories of her scout Ashley – who appears to have some deamons of her own to deal with.

As we see how the promised cash and fame stay out for hard-working Nadya, Ashley, a former teen model herself, explains us more about the sollitute of the profession. From the outset she embodies that which girls in school courtyards dream of becoming, but in reality she has become numb and detached to feelings of warmth  and is left with no other than a house and two plastic dolls that are stand-ins for the babies she once hoped to have.

Girl model is observing, depressing but also refreshing in its honesty. A documentary which actually many a school or parent would benefit from showing to the young girls they look after.

The documentary will be screening in the UK from Friday 10 February onwards. For more information and to find your nearest screening check the Girl Model website.


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Alexandra Zeevalkink is a Dutch-born journalist living in London who founded DocGeeks in August 2011 in order to have a legitimate excuse to watch every documentary under the sun. She freelances for various publications and writes mainly about documentaries and the film production industry. When she is not blogging or watching films, she enjoys theater, photography and reading loads of books. She is always on the look out for potential partnerships with other creative minds.

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