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Review: Girl Model

By PETER KEOUGH  |  October 10, 2012
3.0 3.0 Stars

As seen in David Redmon and Ashley Sabin's somber, sometimes poetic, Fred Wiseman-like documentary, the international model trade ranks just above human trafficking in legitimacy. Agencies visit bleak towns in Russia and put on beauty contests for barely pubescent girls, arranged by "scouts" like former model Ashley Arbaugh. The winner receives a contract and a ticket to Tokyo for modeling "jobs." One such winner is 13-year-old Nadya from Siberia, a doe-eyed beauty who takes the trip in hopes of making money to help her family build a new home. Followed by the camera crew, Nadya soon learns the unsurprising lesson that she's been taken for a ride, as she ends up in a cell-like room and goes on "auditions" without getting paid. Paralleling these woes, Arbaugh, who looks remarkably like Nadya, shares her misgivings and videos of her own first trip to Japan, shedding crocodile tears for her clients. Not so hard to do when you're living in a million dollar house in Connecticut.

  Topics: Reviews , Boston, short takes, in theaters,  More more >
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