Virginity

Three teen girls, all over 18, make the journey from the provinces to Moscow in order to sell or barter the one possession they believe is of any value, their maidenhood.

Three teen girls, all over 18, make the journey from the provinces to Moscow in order to sell or barter the one possession they believe is of any value, their maidenhood, in Russian docu “Virginity.” Locally well-known docu-helmer Vitali Mansky’s tawdry feature is depressing not just because of the subject matter, but also because of its patronizing, lascivious treatment of the interviewees themselves. After niche release in Russia, pic will no doubt have a few seedy encounters on the fest circuit.

Kerina, 18, gets her fashion sense from Barbie dolls. She talks a big game about holding on to her purity at first, but later becomes a poll dancer and aspiring porn star so she can afford to buy a pink car. Christina, 18, longs to go on Russia’s equivalent of the TV series “Big Brother,” where she’d be happy to be deflowered on camera. Saddest story of all concerns Katya, 19, who sells her virginity for $3,000 so she can pay her college fees and feels wretched the next day. Pretentious, pseudo-intellectual voiceover can’t disguise pic’s inherent sleaziness, even if little sex is actually lensed.

Virginity

Russia

Production: A Leopolis, Studio Vertov.Real Cinema production. (International sales: Studio Vertov, Moscow.) Produced by Sergei Livnev, Lev Nikolau. Executive producer, Natalia Manskaya. Directed, written by Vitali Mansky.

Crew: Camera (color, DV-to-35mm), Irina Shatalova; editor, Roman Shklovsky. Reviewed at Sochi Open Russian Film Festival (competing), June 14, 2008. Running time: 89 MIN.

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