Arbaugh’s finds include Nadya, whose family is delighted for her opportunity and tearfully but joyfully pack the coltish teen onto a plane. Arriving alone in Tokyo, Nadya attempts to get directions from a bemused airline employee – one suspects the woman is as confused by the attendant camera crew as by the unilingual Russian – and can be heard asking Redmon himself for help. (Later, when she fails to navigate the phone system at the Japanese modelling agency, he actually lends her his phone for a heart-wrenching call to her mother.) Somehow, she does wind up at the minuscule apartment she will share with another Russian model, a girl who spent four hours lost in the Tokyo subway when she arrived.
Getting lost in a strange land is bad enough, but the dramatic tension here depends on the viewer fearing far worse for Nadya and her ilk. The owner of the Japanese agency “really likes models” according to Arbaugh, and can give the filmmakers no clear answer as to why he imports inexperienced girls who mainly get rejected by potential clients. Perhaps they are merely suffering a tough initiation into modelling at their own financial expense – we are told Nadya did continue modelling in Asia, despite her horrible trip to Tokyo – but Arbaugh also admits that some of the unsuccessful take the short step to prostitution. Of course, she knows nothing about that side of the business.