6 de março de 2010

Polônia: filme sobre prostituição de adolescentes

A mídia brasileira vive fazendo repercutir textos do jornal americano The New York Times. Mas não deu maior atenção a uma reportagem de Dan Bilefsky publicada a 4 de março no NYT, sobre um filme documentário que discute a prostituição de adolescentes na Polônia, fenômeno desconhecido na era do comunismo. Trata-se das chamadas "garotas de shopping", secundaristas que vendem sexo a "patrocinadores", em troca de jeans de grife, celulares, sapatos de salto alto, e até por um par de meias. Sem esses adereços, não conseguem ser populares em suas escolas. Costumam usar botas de cano alto, até a coxa, de látex. Abaixo, a íntegra em inglês da matéria:

NY Times March 4, 2010Poland Looks Inward After Film Puts ‘Mall Girl’ Culture on ViewBy DAN BILEFSKYWARSAW — They loiter at the mall for hours, young teenage girls selling their bodies in return for designer jeans, Nokia cell phones, even a pair of socks.Katarzyna Roslaniec, a former film student, first spotted a cluster of mall girls three years ago, decked out in thigh-high latex boots. She followed them and chatted them up over cigarettes. Over the next six months, the teens told her about their sex lives, about the men they called “sponsors,” about their lust for expensive labels, their absent parents, their premature pregnancies, their broken dreams.Ms. Roslaniec, 29, scribbled their secrets in her notepad, memorizing the way they peppered their speech with words like “frajer” — “loser” in English.She gossiped with them on Grono.net, the Polish equivalent of Facebook. Soon, she had a large network of mall girls.The result is the darkly devastating fictional film, “Galerianki,” or Mall Girls, which premiered in Poland in the autumn and has provoked an ongoing national debate about moral decadence in this conservative, predominantly Catholic country, 20 years after the fall of Communism.The film tells the story of four teenage girls who turn tricks in the restrooms of shopping malls to support their clothing addiction. It has attained such cult status that parents across the country say they are confiscating DVDs of the film for fear it provides a lurid instruction manual.The revelation that Catholic girls, some from middle-class families, are prostituting themselves for a Chanel scarf or an expensive sushi dinner is causing many here to question whether materialism is polluting the nation’s soul.In the film, the character Milena, the knowing and vampish queen of the mall girls, explains to Ala, her innocent protégé, how to target an affluent sponsor: “Look at a guy’s shoes, his watch, and his phone and you can tell if it’s expensive. It’s a start, right?” she explains. Love doesn’t exist, she adds, what matters is what you can get for sex.The real-life mall girls say that after choosing a benefactor, they follow him into a shop, and seduce him by trying on clothes. Sex is exchanged only for an agreed item like a blouse, never for cash. It usually takes place in the stalls of bathrooms at the mall or in a car in the parking lot — a fact that has prompted intensified security at malls and forced the mall girls to seek out alternate venues.On a recent night at Space, a former train station-turned-dance club that is a favorite of mall girls, dozens of teens in body-hugging black outfits gyrated to Polish hip-hop, flanked by much older men, buying them €10, or $13, cocktails. “Life is expensive in Warsaw,” said Sylwia, a jobless 18-year-old, as she caressed the leg of a 31-year-old man she had just met. “I need to find someone to help pay the rent.”Ms. Roslaniec called mall girls the daughters of capitalism. “Parents have lost themselves in the race after a new washing machine or car and are rarely home. A 14-year-old girl needs a system of values that can’t be shaped without the guidance of parents. The result is that these girls live in a world where there are no feelings, just cold calculation.”Some cultural critics here agree that mall girls are a symptom of a post-Communist society, while others contend that the filmmaker has exaggerated the phenomenon. But Ms. Roslaniec noted that the trend was not limited to Poland. At screenings of the film, from Hong Kong to Tel Aviv to Toronto, she said, she was amazed by the number of teens who came up to her and told her about mall girls at their own schools.“The only country where teens seemed genuinely surprised by the film was in Finland,” she noted — a wealthy welfare state.According to a recent study commissioned by the Ombudsman for Children in Poland, 20 percent of teenage prostitutes in Poland sell their bodies in order to earn money for designer clothes, fancy gadgets or concert tickets. Girls on average enter the sex trade at age 15; boys at 14.Some critics complain that the film offers an idealized, glamorized version of the sex business. Monika Siuchta, a social worker who works with teenagers, noted that real-life teen prostitutes were often abused and looked disheveled and neglected, with incongruous gold accessories.Adam Bogoryja-Zakrzewski, a journalist who made a documentary about mall girls, said the phenomenon had laid bare the extent to which the powerful Polish Catholic church — anti abortion, anti-gay and anti-contraception — was out of touch with the younger generation, for whom sex, alcohol and consumerism held more appeal. “The shopping mall has become the new cathedral in Poland,” he said.So fearful is the church of losing souls to department stores that a few years ago one church in the southern Polish city of Katowice installed a confessional booth in a shopping center, offering shoppers absolution between their Christmas purchases.For others, the mall girl trend reflects how the social egalitarianism of the past is vanishing. “Our mothers were happy to have one doll to play with that their mothers sewed,” said Dagmara Krasowska, 20, who plays Milena. “My generation got Barbies, which we tired of in five minutes. Under Communism, our mothers all wore the same school uniforms. Today, teens want the latest designer outfits and are never satisfied.”Whatever the meaning behind the trend, social workers and parents say they fear that teenagers are looking to mall girls as role models.Marcin Drewniak, who counsels teenagers in Krakow, noted that malls had become the new community centers in Poland, providing teens with both refuge and temptation. “They can go to the mall and they don’t have to worry about bad weather or interfering adults,” he said. “They can try on clothes and perfume without having to spend any money. The mall has become a sort of fairy tale land. All this would have been unimaginable during Communism.”He said the typical mall girl was between 14 and 16 and came from a family with a single parent. They often abused drugs or alcohol, and sold their bodies in a search for self-esteem. He said the girls did not accept money and called their clients “boyfriends” or “losers” to preserve the illusion that they are not prostitutes.Many teens here said that mall girls were to be pitied, not emulated. At Zlote Tarasy, a sprawling mall in central Warsaw, Nina Chmielewska, 15, an aspiring actress chomping on a Big Mac in the food court, said she knew some mall girls at school. She said they disgusted her, but acknowledged the pressures.“If you want to be cool and accepted at school, you need to have a good cellphone, designer shoes and a boyfriend. You are judged by how you look,” she said. “For sure, I don’t want to end up with a sweaty ugly guy.”

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