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Girl Model (3 stars)

Clinical expose of the modeling industry

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Girl Model

(tbc) 78min

Far from the fairy-tale fiction of America’s Top Model is Girl Model, a clinical, disturbing industry expose by documentary makers David Redmon and Ashley Sabin (Mardi Gras: Made in China).

Ashley Arbaugh is an ex-model and now a US-based talent scout searching for girls to service the lucrative market in Japan, and who finds potential in Nadya, a thirteen year old she discovers at a modeling contest in Novosibirsk. But Arbaugh takes little responsibility for what happens next, as Nadya’s dreams flounder when work proves hard to come by, and the pressure of being the family breadwinner starts to get to her.

Girl Model doesn’t attempt to mount a polemic about the sexualisation of teenagers, or the exploitation of women, but coolly observes situations where both of these processes are at work. Watching the disturbing cattle call of young girls in Russia, it’s hard to miss the point that the modeling business is just as unfair as many other aspects of the modern world. Her own video diaries reveal that Arbaugh isn’t a monster; she’s just part of a cruel cycle which exploits the dreams of individuals to satisfy the egos of the few at the top of the industry.

Selected release from Fri 10 Feb. Also screening at Cineworld Renfrew Street, Glasgow, Fri 17 & Sat 18 Feb, as part of Glasgow Film Festival.

Girl Model - Trailer

Girl Model

  • 3 stars
  • 2011
  • UK
  • 78 min
  • Directed by: David Redmon, Ashley Sabin
  • Cast: Ashley Arbaugh, Rachel Blais

A coolly observed, disturbing documentary about the fashion industry, following modelling talent scout Arbaugh who searches for girls to service the Japanese modelling market, but who takes little responsibility for her own protegées. Arbaugh's own video diaries reveal that she's not a monster but part of a industry-wide…

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