TV Watch: 'Girl Model'

POV airs doc about a troubled industry and the girls it employs

Girl Model
Girl Model

How exportable is the American Dream? And how exploitable? Those are some of the questions asked in the harrowing documentary Girl Model, which debuts on PBS’ POV tonight.

The dual narrative follows Ashley, an American talent scout/former model, and Nadya, a Siberian 13-year-old who hopes to support her family with a modeling career in Japan. There, she’s urged to lie about her age and call herself 15, even as it’s those preadolescent looks that first attracted attention to her. Directed by the Carnivalesque Films David Redmon and Ashley Sabin, Girl Model is as fascinating as it is squirm-inducing in its portrait of a troubled industry and the impoverished young adults it employs … or exploits, depending on your perspective.

"The whole modeling industry and the young girls involved in it are such a recipe for disaster," co-director Ashley Sabin told the Chronicle in 2012, when the film screened at SXSW. “I feel like in many ways we document a disaster."

Girl Model airs 10pm tonight on KLRU, but you can get a jump-start and watch the first 20 minutes below. Read the Chronicle’s interview with Ashley Sabin and David Redmon.

Watch Girl Model on PBS. See more from POV.

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