Watch Born into Brothels
- 1 hr 25 min
Born into Brothels is a 2004 documentary film directed by Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman. The film is set in the largest red light district of Kolkata, India, Sonagachi. The story depicts the lives of a group of children born to women working in brothels. The movie revolves around how these children see the world and how they face the hardships of living in a difficult environment.
The movie mainly focuses on the young photographers who discover the art world in their surroundings through which they find solace in their harsh lives. The directors of the film, Zana Briski, and Ross Kauffman, were initially in Sonagachi to document the lives of sex workers. While staying there, they observed the hardships faced by these children who were often ignored and neglected by society. As a result, they decided to give these children a platform as photographers to tell their own story to the world.
Initially, the kids of Sonagachi were hesitant to engage with the camera. Zana Briski, who is a photographer herself, took it upon herself to teach these children photography. She provided them with a creative outlet, and they were able to express themselves through their photographs. They were taught the basics of photography, and this helped them channel their energy into a fun and creative activity while documenting their daily lives. The children captured everything, from their joyous moments with friends to their struggles.
The kids who took part in the film were bonded by their shared experiences of poverty and neglect. Some of them have fathers who are absent; others don't know who their fathers are. Their mothers work in brothels, and as a result, these children's lives have been scarred by abuse and neglect.
One of the main characters in the movie is the young and precocious Kochi. She is a young girl born to a prostitute, and her sharp wit and playful nature are apparent from her earliest scenes. Kochi shares a room with her younger brother, who she adores. She is smart and observant, and this is why Zana Briski took a particular interest in her. Even though she had no prior experience in photography, Kochi took to it naturally, and she was able to capture some truly breathtaking shots. Her determination and natural talent are remarkable.
Another character in the film is Avijit Halder, who is one of the most talented young photographers featured in the movie. His mother works in the brothels, and he says he wants to "click nice pictures and make money." His eye for a good shot is impressive, and he captures the beauty of Sonagachi in a way that no one else can. He shows us that beauty exists even in the darkest of places.
The movie also features the story of Shanti Das, a young girl who is the daughter of a sex worker. She dreams of attending school and getting an education, but her mother is hesitant to let her do so. Despite her circumstances, Shanti is a bright and curious girl who is determined to make her own choices in life. Her strength of character stands out in the movie.
Overall, Born into Brothels is a moving and poignant movie that brings us closer to the harsh realities of life in the red light district of Kolkata. The movie showcases the resilience of these children and their ability to find beauty in even the darkest of places. It is a thought-provoking and emotional film that sticks with you long after the credits roll.
Born into Brothels is a 2003 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 25 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2 and a MetaScore of 78.