Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Documentary- Dawn Porter: Mail Order Bride

This week Dawn went to Russia to investigate a ‘mail-order bride event’. So can you ‘buy’ a wife easily? I think some people can and do. But this event seemed very dodgy from the start; in fact I’m amazed they even let them film it, it was so badly run.
The ‘high-calibre men, doctors, lawyers’ promised turned out to be various dysfunctional Americans, ranging from ordinary looking to comedy moustaches and possible third-degree burns. Fine, if they were what they said on the tin, but the majority of them (i.e. all but one) seemed anything but.
One in particular seemed particularly vile, so Dawn did a bit of digging around on their backgrounds and discovered several had various convictions (including for assault).
Third-degree-burns dude basically said he’d been wrongly convicted of assault, and then muddied the waters quite worryingly by saying, ‘Imagine if every time you hit or slapped someone you got accused of assault.’ Er- that IS assault.
Also anything but what was promised was the agency itself. None of the girls were interested in the men, but instead came for the free food, and the manager’s scruples were somewhat shaky. Dawn asked about the men’s credentials/ criminal records, and the woman replied, ‘These are educated men, they know how to use the internet.’ When Dawn protested that the ability to click a mouse didn’t equal brains or morals, the woman said ‘there is a direct correlation between men who can use the internet and them not being violent.’ Tell that to a million abused children and battered wives. Dawn did go a little Louis Theroux at this point, but that was about as far as the challenge went.
The bizarre last part of the show surrounded Third-degree-burns guy telling Dawn she fancied him (not likely, mate) and berating a pretty Russian woman over dinner for daring to have talked to another man at the introduction party. Wasn’t that the point?!
And what was with that Christian guy handing out Jelly Beans with Bible quotes sellotaped on? It’s not my idea of a come-on, but hey, I’ll take the sweets.
All in all not as good as last weeks but still a zillion times better than anything Dave Gorman has ever put his name to. Dawn rocks.

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