4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Raises great questions, offers few answers,
This review is from: Girl Model (DVD)Girl Model has a low-key style but a shocking story of Nadya a 13-year old Russian girl sent to Japan as an aspiring model and Ashley the American recruiter who trolls the towns of Siberia looking for 'fresh faces'.
Nadya, speaking neither Japanese nor English arrives alone in Tokyo and has to find her way by herself. She spends weeks going to castings without even money for food. Her contract, written in English not Russian, says if she gains even a centimeter on her hips she can be fired, it also allows the agency to change the terms unilaterally.
The system is dirty, the girls are promised fame and fortune but most leave without a modeling job and deeply in debt. Ashley swings wildly from denouncing the system she is a part of to justifying it, to willingly turning a blind eye to what might happen to young teens left alone in a strange country.
The direction is very low-key, we never hear or see the documentary makers, only the subjects. No outside experts are interviewed, no additional information is provided.
It's an interesting choice but a frustrating one. I would love to know if the contracts are even legal under Russian or Japanese law. Or why Japanese immigration issues visas for underage models. Or if there are any groups trying to reform this. We get a passing mention that in the U.S. and Europe agencies have set a limit, girls must be at least 16. Is there any similar effort in Japan?
But I suppose the fact I'm asking these questions means the filmmakers did their job well.
It's worth a watch.