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  • Jennifer Green

Review: "Brandy Hellville & the Cult of Fast Fashion"

This ambitious documentary contains important messages and has generated buzz with its exposé of a popular fashion brand, though it doesn't fully reach its own goals. The title says it all: Brandy Hellville & the Cult of Fast Fashion. Indeed, there are two parallel story threads here: the exploitative practices and executive misdeeds at the global chain Brandy Melville, and how the cycle of production and disposal of cheap clothing creates slave-like working conditions and pollutes the planet. The former is disturbing, and the latter is alarming.


The documentary's biggest weakness is that these two threads don't fully come together until the final 10 minutes of the film. Similarly, some of the more condemning information about Brandy Melville and owner Stephan Marsan is buried quite deep in the documentary. The same photos of Marsan are shown repeatedly, and the film's title masks its more serious aims. This all gives the sense early on that there might be no "there there," when in fact there is plenty of damning evidence to be found (much of it previously published by Business Insider). The target young-teen audience of Brandy Melville isn't likely to sit through this whole exposé or even necessarily understand all its implications, but slightly older teens and young women—like many of the film's interviewees—certainly will. This film and its multiple messages could have a positive impact.

 

Read the full review at Common Sense Media.




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