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Ashley SABIN, David REDMON
SynopsisGirl Model follows a complex supply chain between Siberia, Japan, and USA within the modeling industry. The story is told through the eyes of a scout and a 13-year-old model. Despite a lack of obvious similarities between Siberia and Tokyo, a thriving model industry connects these distant regions.
‘Switch Model Agency’ scouts teenaged girls with model potentials from the post-Soviet states, and sells them abroad to nations such as Japan. For the girls who own nothing but their bodies, working abroad is their only way out of the detestable poverty in the post-Soviet states as well as a temptation that presents a blueprint for them to make sufficient money to support their families. However, the reality that they, who were ‘chosen’ among hundreds of competitors, face is not so easy. After experiencing the bitterness of life, many young girls go back to their homelands, heavily indebted to the agency that arranged their foreign travels, let alone make any money.By following Nadya, who went to work in Japan after being scouted by a modeling agency, and Ashley, who scouted Nadya, in an alternating scene, the film exposes the realities of international human trafficking, and questions the structural issues behind it.
Also, it criticizes the twisted desires of capitalistic society that voraciously consume the images of young girls. Ashley’s question that asks \"what is the difference between selling one’s self in front of the camera and to other people?” makes us think that the line distinguishing the difference between fantasizing about the bodies of young women and the dynamic of desire on the other side of buying and selling them is not all that clear. (Jay SOHN)
Ashley SABINAshley SABIN
Ashley SABIN received her BA in Art History from Pratt Institute. David REDMON is currently a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University. They have produced, directed, edited, and photographed five films: Mardi Gras: Made in China (2005), Kamp Katrina (2007), Intimidad (2008), and Invisible Girlfriend (2009) and most recently Girl Model (2011).
David REDMONDavid REDMON