Caught in the Net

Dir. Barbora Chalupová, Vít KlusákHypermarket Film [Czech Television, Radio and Television Slovakia, Peter Kerekes, Helium Film], 2020 | 100′, Czech Republic, 16+

Three 18+ in age but childish-looking actresses create fake profiles on social media pretending that they are 12-year-olds. In “children’s rooms” set up in a film studio they chat with men of various ages who have made contact with them online. Most ask for video sex and send nude photos or links to porn sites. Some even try to blackmail the girls. The film follows the girls from the casting process through to specially organized meetings with the predators (aided by 6 hidden cameras and backed up by security). We watch how the predators react and what warped self-preservation tactics they use when the girls “exit their roles” and confront the men.

The idea for this feature-length film came from a similar experiment wherein the directors created a fake profile for a 12-year-old girl, Tinka, for research purposes. Within five hours 83 men contacted Tinka. Four of them masturbated during the video chat without even appearing in front of Tinka’s camera. During ten days of filming the three actresses were contacted by 2,458 sexual predators.

In Czech with Latvian subtitles.