Girl Model

Thumping techno music, glamorous runways, exotic locales – ah, the supermodel life. But as RuPaul warns, “You better work.” A bleak document of desperate dreams, Girl Model focuses on mousy, 13-year-old Nadya as she is plucked from barren Russia to strut her stuff in prepubescent girl-crazed Tokyo. The boot camp odyssey, where bewildered teenagers – with anxious family waiting back home with dollar-sign eyes – are thrown into a decidedly foreign, cut-throat world (gain a centimeter of hip and you are out!), is presented with harsh indifference. In an interesting twist, the chief girl scout of this pimpy operation, Ashley, is herself a former model. Her stark video diaries of years past and somber narrative as she rides the Trans Siberian Express in search of her golden girl mirror Nadya’s plight. Although thoroughly engrossing, this doc leaves much off the table, as there is clearly a lot of nasty business going on.