Projections - Movie Reviews

Born Into Brothels


Rated: Not Rated
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: December 8, 2004 Released by: Thinkfilm

The Best Academy Award Documentary for 2004 and Audience Award Sundance winner is a vivid, unsentimental portrait of life in Calcutta’s notorious red-light district.

It’s all about the children who are faced with obstacles of language, culture, and ethnicity amid the squalor. Their normal appearance wouldn’t suggest living in brothels where their mothers support them through prostitution.

British-born photojournalist Zana Briski, a co-producer and co-director along with Ross Kauffman, immersed her life with a number of the kids. The New York photographer went beyond pictorially representing their lives in ways that could give them a chance of greater emotional fulfillment.

Every one has potential to create and many of the girls and boys were shown how to use cameras. Twelve year old Avijit capitalized so well in the visual arts that he would show his work in Amsterdam. And, there are others like the lovely, tall 14-year-old Suchitra who is in danger of “joining the line.”

The relationship of “Zana Auntie” and Kauffman with the children is so strong that their personal stories become more involving around what is illegal. Born Into Brothels is a telling chronicle of how young people have the ability to overcome a rough, impoverished existence, even if many won’t leave such a dismal third-world metropolis.

  Frank Chris Tony Jim Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Born Into Brothels       A-     A A-

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