The Beauty Exchange / Ženy pro měny (Czech Republic, 2004)

directed by Erika Hníková, documentary, 77 min, eng subtitles
written by Erika Hníková

A tragicomic documentary about four women who live under the sway of the ever-present ideal of the perfect female body. Eva entrusts her body and her life savings to a plastic surgeon so that he may fulfil her lifelong dream: having bigger breasts. Magda tries every '100% tried and tested' (and untested) slimming product. Karolína uses all sorts of expensive cosmetic products and follows the latest fashion trends. A rather inconspicuous student named Zuzana enters the Top Model of the New Millennium contest and is transformed into a fashion icon. All of them long for perfect bodies, like those they see on the cover of women's magazines. They are led into this by an irrational urge, an unspoken passion to fulfil ideals presented to them by beauty magazines And all of them fight for that perfect form by any means necessary...
"I wanted to show what could happen to women if they are concentrated too much on their bodies," said director Erika Hníková, who made the film as her senior thesis at FAMU, the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.


Jihlavy IDFF 2003 (Audience Award)