Wednesday, 25 June 2008

EIFF: Very Young Girls - Review by Becky Bartlett

Director: David Schisgall
Running Time: 85 mins
Thu 26 Jun, 20:00
Filmhouse 2

The average age of a sex worker entering "the life" in America is thirteen. A documentary using this statement as a starting point is almost guaranteed to be compulsive viewing. Yet it is the story, rather than the documentary, that is so gripping. As a film, Very Young Girls raises points that are mentioned but not expanded upon (particularly worrying is the NYPD dismissing a woman's information of the exact whereabouts of prostitutes, including her daughter, being held by a pimp; the fact that almost all the girls are black is not discussed), with director David Schisgall preferring to concentrate on the stories rather than an in-depth analysis. A great documentary succeeds in making a mundane story riveting. With this topic already fascinating, it is a shame then that Schisgall doesn't attempt a deeper investigation.

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