Born Into Brothels: Calcuttas Red Light Kids DVD
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Directed by Zana Briski, Ross Kauffman
Produced in 2004
Main Language - Bengali/English
In 1997, photographer Zana Briski was assigned to capture images of Sonagachi, the oldest and the largest of red light districts in India where the women have organized into a sex trade union of more than 5,000 active workers and have spread awareness about AIDS and HIV. While the women were reluctant to let her into their lives, the children quickly responded and Briski became a resident of the brothel for five years. During that time, she provided the children with point and shoot cameras, set up classes in photography, and trained them to document the harsh reality of their daily lives. The result is the Oscar nominated documentary Born Into Brothels, a film that takes us inside the squalid brothels and allows us to see the world through the eyes of some of its most vulnerable residents, five girls and three boys, ages ten to fourteen. Shot in dazzling color using a digital camera, we get to know the children through their photos.
The film documents Briski's uphill efforts to place the children in boarding schools to escape the cycle of poverty and exploitation. Some manage to find places in the schools but the biggest obstacle is shown to be the children's own mothers and guardians, often protective out of the sheer necessity for survival. Born Into Brothels is a testimony to the transforming power of art and of one individual's ability to make a difference. Showing the children's art to Western audiences has helped to raise money for the Sonagachi children's education. It may also serve to make people more aware of the potential talent of millions of other third world children who struggle daily for existence on the streets, the orphanages, and the refugee camps of our teeming world.
A portrait of seven children who live in the red light district of Calcutta where their mothers work as prostitutes. Spurred on Spurred by the children's' fascination with her camera, Zana Briski, a New York-based photographer documenting life in the brothels, decides to teach them photography. As they begin to look at the record their world through new eyes, the children, unrecognised by society, realise for the first time their own talents and sense of worth.
Publisher: Drakes Avenue
Length: 83 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 27th August 2007
Cat No: DAP7746
- Deleted scenes
- Kid's video commentary
- Born into Brothels - reconnecting.