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Video Offers Polish Brides for Italian Men

May 24, 1991

ROME (AP) _ It’s the ultimate high-tech mail order catalogue: a color video featuring 30 Polish women supposedly in search of Italian husbands.

Forty thousand of the videos hit Italian newsstands last week, according to producer Giancarlo Meo. And he said it’s only the start of a video promotion of prospective brides from Eastern Europe.

But there has been no great rush of buyers.

Bruno Ricuccio, who operates one of Rome’s larger newsstands in the heart of downtown, said he has ″sold six or seven during the week.″

The video sells for about $30.

Warsaw women ranging in age from 18 to 30, all attractive and identified variously as students, models, beauticians and in some cases aspiring models, appear in the video being interviewed in Polish about their hopes and aspirations, with an Italian voice-over translation.

The video includes the name, address, age and height of each woman. Meo said ″The Girls of the East: Volume 1: Warsaw″ is the first of what he hopes will be a series of videos. Next is one featuring 30 women from Prague.

The interviews are simple: the women all say they’d love to come to Italy. One says she’d ″like to have a big house, organize large parties and know many people.″

Agnieszka Buracynska, 21, confides that ″three years ago I dreamt of a man who was tall, dark and had dark eyes. Now I am interested in someone who has values and would protect me.″

Despite a titillating wrapper featuring sensuously posed color headshots of eight young women, the video would disapppoint anyone in search of eroticism. The interviews were filmed mostly in parks, public squares and a few homes. The women are fully dressed, with fashionable hairdos and modest but elegant clothing, at least by East European standards.

One of the featured women, 21-year-old Sylwia Mielcarcz, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that she had taken part in the video by accident and for a lark. ″It was a pure accident,″ she said.

She and a friend were approached by a pair of students - one Polish and the other Italian - who talked them into participating.

″To tell you the truth,″ she said, ″I never expected to hear from them again. We treated it as some kind of adventure, or rather, a happening.″

She said she doesn’t know any Italians, ″but if someone contacts me, I think we could write to each other. Then everything will depend on who he is, what character he has.″

Aleksandra Mieczinka, who was only 17 when she took part in the filming of the video in April, said she had asked to be dropped from the project and was surprised to learn she had been included in the video.

″My decison to make the tape was never meant as seeking a husband,″ she said. ″The photographer simply convinced me it would be a good advertisement for me as a beginning photo model. I am definitely not interested in marriage.″

Does Meo plan to give Polish men equal time, offering a video for marriage- minded Italian women?

″Who wants them?″ he said. ″They have no money.″

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