She is a beauty. She is a foreigner. She is alone. And she is just a kid.
Dasha is an impressively beautiful girl from Ukraine who, from a young age, has come into contact with the side effects of her beauty. Her irresponsible, vain, and delusional mother Radmila, decides that they move to Greece. After an eventful entry at the borders, Radmila and Dasha arrive at a resort in Chalkidiki, where Dasha grows up all by herself, along with a herd of wild dogs. The little girl oftentimes becomes the target of molesting and bullying, since her mother is absent, drunk from the abuses and the possibilities she thinks she has ahead of her. Whenever Radmila finds herself in a tight spot, she runs away. That is how she ends up in Athens, following her then “suitable” man.
Dasha comes into contact with all kinds of physical, mental, and sexual abuse. Radmila locks her in a tiny basement and goes to work. The little girl is lulled to sleep by the footsteps of strangers heard through the window. No ray of hope is shining but Dasha remains a bright and optimistic creature, trying to make sense of the world.
As a teenager, she is sexually molested by her mother’s boyfriend while her mother turns a blind eye. Radmila wants to marry him come what may because she is after citizenship. The little girl goes through life unprotected and is met with all aspects of racism: because she is a foreigner, gorgeous, poor, and alone… The girls envy her, the boys fall in love with her, and everyone treats her in a tougher and more inhuman manner due to her beauty. Her only defense is her instinctive detachment from everything Radmila does.
Her way out comes from that very hypocrisy society has around beauty, when she decides to ”take advantage” of her beauty and become a model. She commercializes the ”gift” she was given and enters willingly into an even greater abusive mechanism.
She gets through pageants, wins a title, and forms relationships, often abusive ones, but she doesn’t stop. A new life begins, full of travels, socialite parties, photoshoots, money, publicity, and glory. Nothing really gets through to Dasha, who has survived much worse. She travels abroad, lives like a nomad, along with the other models, and endures sexism and body shaming from the fashion industry, she deals with the competition, loses loved ones, falls, and gets back up, but she never gives up, she loves life and survives using any means necessary.
Based on the book ”The Beauty” by Katerina Bei.
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency . Neither the European Union, nor the European Education and Culture Executive can be held responsible for them.
12 x 45'
January 17, 2024