Each year hundreds of women are taken from their homes and forced into a life of prostitution and sexual slavery. This is the story of ten of them. A Belgian criminal gang head east to ...
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Each year hundreds of women are taken from their homes and forced into a life of prostitution and sexual slavery. This is the story of ten of them. A Belgian criminal gang head east to Lithuania to recruit young women desperate to leave their impoverished lives. Promising a glamorous life as members of a stage dance troupe, the girls are eager to sign up. From the training in Cyprus, to the strip clubs and illegal brothers in Belgium, the girls from the start are forced into a life of rape, abuse, murder and misery. The police are slow and corrupt, and the gangsters are always one step ahead of the law.Written by
Quality always shows, no matter where it comes from. Belgium may not be very well known for its movies or series, but from time to time some director really knows what to do to make our little country proud. I've seen several Belgian movies and most of the time I wasn't very pleased with them ("De Zaak Alzheimer" and "Hombres Complicados" are exceptions to that rule). Almost all lacked professionalism and tried too hard to look like Hollywood productions. That's not the case with "Matroesjka's". This series never even tries to look like it comes from Hollywood. It wants to look Belgian and it succeeds perfectly.
In this series we follow some young Russian and Lituanian girls who are recruited by some Belgians with the promise that they will earn a lot of money as dancers (not as strippers) and that they will be able to build a better future for themselves and their families. But from the beginning on the problems start: their contracts are in Greek, they are first sent to a nightclub on Cyprus and they soon realize that their situation won't get any better. But what they don't even know yet is that they will not only have to strip. They will also have to work as prostitutes and they will never be free for as long as they work in the nightclubs...
This series deals with something that we aren't very proud of, but that really is a part of our country: white slavery (the buying of women in Eastern Europe and using them in the sex industry). It's a well-known fact that Belgium, and Antwerp in particular, is a major player in this scene. But this series also shows that it isn't always the big crime syndicates who deal in women. Often the people who do such things are people from the middle classes. Another thing that is made very clear by this series is the corruption in the police department. Too often there has been proof of police officers who worked together with those networks instead of trying to catch them...
It's very clear that the writers of this program were able to do everything they wanted. Normally they try too hard to make it all very spectacular and original, because that's exactly what the TV stations demand from them. In the average soap you'll see one plane crash after the next horrible murder, making it all very laughable, but far from realistic. Not this time. Of course there is some violence in this series, but it all contributes to the realism of the story, making "Matroesjka's" a series that we can all be very proud of. No wonder that it has been sold to so many other countries already. I hope it will be a huge success abroad as well. The makers sure deserve it. In the mean time we already got to know that, thanks to the huge success of the series, there will be a second part. Now let's hope that they keep up the good work and don't mess it up. Anyway, I give the first part an 8/10. It sure deserves it.
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