Arab stereotypes and distance sexual fantasies. Dubai Girls Online on Canal +

When I left the film, I didn’t feel that the creators were too inspired by Martin Scorsese’s 2015 film The Wolf of Wall Street. Unfortunately, the Hollywood curtains were too high and bulky for Polish feet, and in addition they wore Louboutin heels. If you want to see for yourself, the film will be on Canal + from April 29.

  • The film “Dubai Girls” is inspired by Piotr Krysiak’s book of female misogynists who call sex workers “prostitutes”.
  • This is a film about the sexual fantasies of Poland, deprived of distance, from the beginning of the 21st century. The unrealistic and pornographic image of femininity prevails here
  • In “Dubai Girls” we do not learn anything about how the heroes feel. However, there are many stereotypes about the Arab world
  • You can find more such information on the main page of Onet.pl.

The story of “Dubai Girls” never interested me. I felt this theme only before the movie premiere. First, I read a few excerpts from a book by Peter Krisiak, published in 2018. After reading it, I was amazed that the journalist could write about his heroes in such a language. Krisiak simply calls them “kurest * kami” and their occupation “kurest * em”. I think that his attitude to the women involved in the Dubai adventure is well reflected in the preface:

“As a reporter, I’ve talked to all sorts of people – from victims of tragedy and needy to gangsters and murderers. Pedophiles and their victims, celebrities, as well as city presidents, MPs, ministers, prime ministers and presidents of our country. Try to talk to an anonymous prostitute.” I didn’t think it would be so difficult for me.

Well, as you can see, even a pedophile is more demanding of him than an “anonymous bitch.”

After reviewing fragments of Krysiak’s text, I wondered if the sex scene presented in this way could involve director Maria Sadovska, whom I had previously linked to Michalina Wisłocka’s film biography. The trailer for “Girls in Dubai” left no illusion that it would be a story with a different sensitivity, and the friends I talked to about the film were often convinced that it was the next production of Patrick Vegan.

A monster from a modeling agency?

In the movie, I learned that “Dubai Girls” is a film full of contradictions. I can’t say I was disappointed with the movie, but it was because I didn’t know what to expect before the show. I couldn’t judge how much of what the trailer showed was a clever game designed to attract an audience longing for sensational and erotic cinema.

Leaving the film, I couldn’t help but feel inspired by the creators of Martin Scorsese’s 2015 film The Wolf of Wall Street. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the Hollywood curtains were too high and bulky for Polish feet, and in addition they wore Louboutin heels.

As with Scorsese, we have a first person story. Amy (Paulina Gałązka) tells us that from a village near Szczecin, she first went to the lavish gatherings of the rich Arabs, and then to the prison. Unfortunately, its off-screen sound is an unnecessary, annoying addition. Amy does not explain anything that will not work in the plot, or Jordan Belfort (Leonardo di Caprio) does not comment on the situation in his life with irony, as in “The Wolf”. Wolf of Wall Street was a politically incorrect black comedy about the impunity of the broker caste. “Dubai Girls” is a narcissistic, harlequin story about luxury escorts, culminating in a moral story about the impossibility of escaping your past. Unfortunately, finally someone had to come to the conclusion that this should also be nuanced in some way, but I will return to the final scene and the boards before the credits.


The first photos from the movie “Dubai Girls”

Photo: Press materials

Male gaze

If anyone needed a neat definition of what was called, in the context of the film, a man’s gaze could reach one of the many pictures in “Girls from Dubai.” There are few scenes where the protagonists of the film look hungry, tired or less attractive. Whether it’s a scene in the pouring rain or running in the desert in high heels – Amy always looks beyond men’s imagination.

From time to time, cinematographers try to destroy this system. In one of the scenes, Amy wants to help a girl who wants to avoid sex, and paints her thighs with red lipstick, explaining that the Arab man probably does not want to have sex with “dirty”. However, the film is dominated by unrealistic and pornographic images of women. The protagonists are not eating, drinking, smoking or dragging. They do not clean, they do not collect for trips. We don’t even get a “final touch” makeup scene that shows anything other than lip gloss enhancement.

The work of the camera and the way the bodies of the heroes are shown do not match the story of the first person. Although women show us the world of paid sex, it seems that men expect it. The lack of countermeasures casts doubt on whether this is a deliberate move, indicating that the protagonist himself cannot look at reality any differently.

Earlier, I watched Ninja Thyberg’s film “Pleasure,” which shows a young Swedish woman moving to the United States to pursue a career in the porn business. Although the film did not lack literal shots, the atmosphere was different. Pleasure made me anxiously reflect on the realities of the porn industry. I remember a very cruel sex scene in which the protagonist “showed” two men. Although definitely shorter and not as aggressive as the scene in Gaspar Noe’s “Irreversible,” it was hard to watch until the end. “Dubai Girls” also has a scene of brutal anal rape at the end of the film, but it is as if “punishing a prostitute” is filmed as a male fantasy. Lighting, camera work, and even the actress’ acting are not much different from her former passionate sex scene with her contractor and lover Amy and Semin.

Scenes that reflect hardship, anxiety, or simply everyday life are disproportionate to glamor, eroticism, and bare-breasted shots. I had the impression that the director was reluctant to show that he had lost control of even the most frightening thing in sex – the situation. Amy loses him once in the rape scene mentioned above. What happened to Marianna (Katarzyna Sawczuk) or Kamila (Olga Kalichka) is not recorded by the camera. Now we can see both heroes after all and guess how their borders crossed.

Polish sexual fantasies

During the filming, I didn’t realize that “Girls from Dubai” was a film about early 21st-century Polish fantasies that turned into ordinary soft porn, devoid of distance for women who were embarrassed to enter the site with adult films. Almost all the men in the film are attractive. Those who do not fit into the canon of male beauty do not appear in the dressing scenes if they appear elsewhere. I think that perhaps this was the reality of the sexual work of the heroes, because the team of screenwriters collected materials for two years for a script that would complete the picture taken by Krishyak. However, this does not increase reliability.


Frame from the film “Girls from Dubai”

Photo: Press materials

The male characters in “Dubai Girls” are mostly Arabs. The film accidentally changes all the stereotypes about Dubai millionaires in Polish discussions. Considering its aesthetics as a whole, it seems like a big fantasy about a world without the performance of the director or the audience. Working on champagne glasses, shoes made of human skin? Maybe it’s all biased, but it’s not convincing. In part, probably because there are only a few Polish heroes in the film, and only one of them is a client of our heroes. Although we know about the scandal surrounding the Dubai girls, their services were also used by famous Poles – politicians, presenters, musicians, athletes – this information is offered only at the beginning of the film. It was as if objective treatment of women, debauchery, fetishism and debauchery were the sole prerogative of the Dubai sheikhs who sailed on the Mediterranean Sea “unseen by God.” I couldn’t help but feel that the director’s choice of material allowed him to focus on himself.

Radio Eska 2005

One of the most tiring elements of the film is the music. There is practically no ordinary movie music that will create tension in the scenes. However, as Doda’s producer pointed out before the premiere, there is a selection of world hits from 2000-2010. Much of what I heard sounded like references to the music of those years, which would be recognized by a wider audience. The only track I can name is Portishead’s Roads, which is so different from the rest of the music that I found it ambitious. There is no point in looking for hits like Calvi and Remi’s “Explosion” in the film of those years, and yet this piece will perfectly fit the atmosphere of stories about models and hostesses. The same goes for costumes – artificial nails, clothes, hairstyles look very modern, showing the last 10 years, not what third-class celebrities wore a few years ago.


The first photos from the movie “Dubai Girls”

Photo: Press materials

The best stories are written by life itself, they are told when you don’t have a better idea of ​​how to interpret the facts that sound like a ready-made script for a film. Unfortunately, Maria Sadovska ruined the story of “Girls from Dubai”. The image of Lady D. Danuta, played by Katarzyna Figura, and the above-mentioned actresses in the lead roles should be appreciated. Unfortunately, this is not enough to make the film good. He did not have the courage to become a successful black comedy that turned into a thriller. A film was made that not only lacked money for good screenwriters, but also for places. We will only see the Courchevel Resort in the artificially snow-covered hall from the warehouse footage and photos, and it looks like a daring escape from the desert was filmed on a green screen. At the end of the film, we learn that some of the girls hired by Emin have mental health problems or have been forced to repair their thighs after they leave. The subtitles read about the number of victims of human trafficking in the world and how the sex industry is growing. However, it cannot be combined in a story related to the music video scenes we watched in the first 100 minutes of the film. The saddest thing is that in Sadovska’s “Girls from Dubai” we do not learn anything about the feelings of the protagonists. We can only say to ourselves that all this is due to their mothers.

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