Born Into Brothels

Rated NR 83 minutes 2005

A beautiful, wrenching documentary, in which a kind Westerner enters a dark and hidden world and, instead of merely observing it -- or publishing it through her photographs -- endeavors to change it. Zana Briski, a photographer based in New York, initially entered the red-light district of Calcutta with the intent to photograph the women who work there. She observed them in their tiny hovels and sat with them as they killed time between customers. Eventually, the women warmed to Briski, but it was the children -- immediately trusting and curious -- who moved her to action. Before long, the photographer abandoned her project, purchased 20 point-and-shoot cameras, and set about teaching the children to take photographs of their own. The results are extraordinary. Each child takes to the work -- some with sheer joy, others with curiosity, and several with a profound and precocious maturity of purpose. It isn't easy to witness the suffering of these children. But they are beautiful, and true, and so is this film.

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski

Producer: Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski

Cast: Avigit, Gour, Puja, Kochi, Manik, Shanti, Suchitra and Tapasi

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