From the Ghettoblaster Magazine
D. Redmon & A. Sabin
A wonderful continuous shot of a seemingly endless string of young teenage women
wearing skimpy two-piece bathing suits with heels opens the documentary Girl Model.
As the camera weaves through the makeshift staging area of mirrors and models the girls
at the casting call smile demurely or look away embarrassedly giving insight as to how
their character might be suited to a life under a lens. The movie then follows two
subjects: Nadya a 13 year old recruit, who goes to Tokyo; and Ashley an American who
scours Siberia scouting for “new faces” to send to Japan where, apparently, they like their
models blond and nubile. To say that things do not go well for young Nadya, (beginning
with her arrival) in Tokyo does not betray much of the fascinating web of fashion,
exploitation, and seemingly organized crime stretching across a global industry.
Equally interesting is the character of Ashley, who when not on the trans-Siberian
occupies a smart, if sterile, modern glass box in Greenwich CT. The former model’s
pretty face often conceals a complicated psyche and a tortured soul. Despite Ashley’s
insouciant, semi-oblivious complicity in a very dirty business the viewer might find some
sympathy in her dream world and how it has gone wrong.
– Zachary Barowitz