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Critical Acclaim for ‘Girl Model’ – Airs 3/24 on PBS

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Girl Model will be premiering on PBS March 24 at 10 PM ET and streaming online March 25 to April 23.

By following model scouts who travel to remote Siberian villages looking for young teens suitable for modeling jobs in Japan, Girl Model (POV 2013) strips away the façade of the modeling industry by following two people whose lives intersect because of it.

Read what critics and journalists have to say about the POV film that premieres on PBS Sunday, March 24 at 10 PM ET, and will be streaming for free online March 25 to April 23.

“A powerful documentary . . . .Girl Model is essential viewing for adolescent girls who flip through fashion magazines or obsess over Top Model without thinking about why.”
Ty Burr, The Boston Globe

“Dipping into a very specific corner of the modeling industry — the search for fresh Russian faces to feed the seemingly insatiable Japanese appetite for prepubescent-looking clotheshorses — [this] film presents an international transaction sustained by the twin forces of illusion and delusion.”
Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times

Girl Model presents an emotionally charged look at the realities of life as a young model, and the hardships that put girls to work at such a young age . . . .[and] leads you to consider the issues.”
Jennifer Merin, Documentaries

“Documentarians David Redmon and Ashley Sabin have pieced together an eye-opening account of a form of human trafficking . . . . [that] gets under the skin-deep promises of glamour and wealth that lure a seemingly endless stream of very young hopefuls.”
Sheri Linden, The Los Angeles Times

“This film, Girl Model, is extremely important [. . . .] Nadya’s story unfortunately is not all that uncommon. A lot of people who aren’t familiar with this industry, they don’t get it. It’s so hard to see past the glossy veneer. But when you see this unvarnished account it really is very compelling [. . . ] What you see in this film, Girl Model, is that what goes in modeling can sometimes border on human trafficking.”
Sara Ziff, founder, Model Alliance, as interviewed on CBS News “Up to the Minute”

“We’re well aware of the unglamorous and unethical aspects of the modeling industry, but never before have we seen such an intimate portrait of the young models’ loneliness, frustration, and isolation.”
New York Magazine

Tune in to Girl Model this Sunday, March 24 at 10 PM on your local PBS station. (Check local listings).

POV Staff
POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 300 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.
  • Anonymous

    This was a fascinating, unsettling film. To me, the main character
    turned out not to be the “Girl Model” of the title, but the supremely
    conflicted yet amoral Ashley, who as a freelance “talent” scout essentially traffics in these young,
    naive wanna-be models. She has a fabulous “little house” (yeah, all 5000 square feet of it) in
    Connecticut with two naked baby dolls for companions, and a life of
    constant travel which she admits is “an addiction.”

    Once an
    unhappy (but successful) model herself, Ashley keeps telling us that she “really cares about these girls,” yet in
    the end blatantly lies to yet another set of parents about what likely awaits their beloved daughter in Japan. It’s as though her own modeling
    experiences have somehow sentenced her to a corruption past all
    redemption — and every transaction involving a new young model is both
    penitence and scab-picking.

    And yes, it’s as awful as it sounds.

    • KNN

      Totally agree, Ashley is a self-centered girl who says she hates the industry and yet sends these 13 year old girls to foreign countries without anybody to watch over them, to make sure they have money to eat and mostly to see that they are not exploited. She “checks” on them and can’t even comunicate. She doesn’t care one iota about these girls and we are supposed to feel sorry for her because she had fibroids and a cyst?

      • Anonymous

        Totally agree back! That scene where she visits Nadya and Madlen in their tiny closet of an apartment was so painful, as she clearly had no clue how to reach these sad, unhappy girls with any wisdom, much less human warmth.

        Ashley’s “baby” was that horrid cyst full of weird human hair.

        What’s complex about her, though, is her constant need to also flagellate herself publicly. She apparently hounded the filmmakers for years before they agreed to tell the story of Girl Model. That’s strange.

        • Gunter Pfaff

          Absolutely, agreeing with all the comments and all I thought when Nadya arrived at the airport and no one was there to greet here, then to a dark apartment, and then figure out how to cook!

    • Gunter Pfaff

      I couldn’t agree more with the blatant lies that Ashley told the parents at the end that all the models get paid! This was a troubling film and all I could think of was soft porn, that all the photo shoppers had to do was just doctor up the photos and create yet another stream of naked children. To see all these half naked, skinny girls lined up at the beginning made me almost turn it off. Wonder what the modeling agencies thought about what they viewed!

  • Jim Carpenter

    PBS should not be showing underage girls in skimpy underwear. You can tell this story without using what is arguably pornographic images.

    • Carlos

      Hmm.. if you find kids pictures in bikinis, you are sick. Rather than being the political correct freak, you should solve your sexual issues.

  • Bev

    This makes me sick. The girl model named Ashley is the scout for these poor little girls and none of them made being a model and one of the most unsettling things to me ( not that all of it was disturbing) was when at the end Ashley was telling the companies about how all the girls she picks succeed. Disgusting and how something can’t be done to help these youngsters now that you know where and who is exploiting them is beyond me. Then charging these young girls money for the terrifying experience, after promising even if they don’t get work as models they will still get the promised 8000 us dollars. Absolutely without conscious or moral thought for youngsters that haven’t the right to make these decisions. Perhaps that is why they take them to these Asian countries. The next thing I want to see is the arrest of Ashley and the crew she works for. Otherwise don’t bother. Sickening, disgusting and amoral.