Archive of films The Beauty Exchange / Ženy pro měny

Czech Republic
2004, 77 min

Section: Czech Films 2004-2005
Year: 2005

Filmed over a period of time, this feature-length documentary questions the ideal of female beauty as perceived by consumer society. Four protagonists try in vain to approach the conception forced in various ways on the public by the mass media.


This investigative documentary looks into what Czech consumer society
thinks about the ideal of female beauty. The standard, moulded by the mass media – commercials television, the cosmetics industry and glamour magazines – is a cruelly abstract goal.. The film focuses on several women who are vainly trying to attain it: worker Eva seeks to improve her bustline with plastic surgery, student Karolína is obsessed by cosmetics, accountant Magda is trapped by dieting, and high school student Zuzana becomes the victim of a modelling contest. Director Erika Hníková confronts these specific human lives with merciless statistics and the freethinking opinions of young feminists. She also interviews employees of Cosmopolitan magazine, who mindlessly participate in shaping the conception of female beauty. This provocative movie was made over a period of one year, and the filmmaker plays an important role, functioning as a relentlessly inquisitive interrogator who manages to touch her protagonists surprisingly close to the bone.

About the director

Erika Hníková (b. 1976,Prague) studied film science for three years at Charles University. She then transferred to the department of documentary filmmaking at Prague ’s Film Academy, graduating with The Beauty Exchange (2004); later, she adapted the documentary for screening in theatres and on DVD. Filmography: the shorts Repatriates from Osek (1999) and Four Steps Bi-Half (2000), the medium-length work Our Class (2001), the short Modelling Life (2003), the feature-length doc The Beauty Exchange (2004) and a medium-length documentary on the Czech Republic’s entry into the European Union,E Day (2004, co-dir. Vít Janeček, Ivana Miloševičová).



Přímětická 4, 140 00, Praha 4
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 241 730 780

FAMU - Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts
Smetanovo nábřeží 2, 116 65, Praha 1
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 234 244 301
Fax: +420 234 244 363

About the film

Color, BETA SP

Section: Czech Films 2004-2005
Director: Erika Hníková
Screenplay: Erika Hníková
Dir. of Photography: Marek Janda
Editor: Jakub Hejna
Producer: Jiří Konečný
Production: endorfilm koprodukce/co-production FAMU - Film and TV Academy of Performing Arts
Contact: endorfilm, FAMU - Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts


Erika Hníková

Film Director

Jiří Konečný



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