Born Into Brothels: Calcutta’s Red Light Kids
Documentary | Bengali with English subtitles | 85 minutes
Zana Briski spent two years living in Kolkata, India’s appalling red light district. She found many children of prostitutes in the community, living in abject poverty with no hope for better futures. To enhance their self-esteem, Zana introduces them to photography. Many of the talented children create worthy photographs that are exhibited in several exhibitions. Zana’s next step is to enroll as many of the children in the nearby school. However, Zana encounters resistance from parents and some students who did attend quickly drop out. But a few do well. Perhaps Zana’s courageous efforts will not be in vain.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 95%
- Metacritic Score: 78
Academy Awards: Winner, Best Feature Documentary
National Board of Review: Winner, Best Documentary
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards: Winner, Best Documentary
Sundance Film Festival: Winner, Best Documentary
Seattle International Film Festival: Winner, Best Documentary
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Intervention in the lives of India’s most deprived class of kids is the focus of BORN INTO BROTHELS. It’s an engaging documentary about a British photographer who endeavors to help the children of Calcutta prostitutes by teaching them how to use a camera.
BORN INTO BROTHELS tempers its optimism with realism in a way that is both uplifting and heartbreaking. In giving a handful of children the opportunity to regard themselves as artists and to perceive their surroundings as raw material, director Zana Briski snatches a measure of hope from depressing circumstances.
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