Born Into Brothels

Critics Consensus

A powerful and uplifting documentary.

95%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 108

91%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 13,961

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Born Into Brothels Photos

Movie Info

Documentary photographer Zana Briski journeyed into Calcutta's underworld to photograph the city's prostitutes. In return, she offered to teach the prostitutes' children the basics of photography so that the kids could document their own lives on the streets of one of the world's poorest cities. The resulting photographs, often astonishing, were exhibited around the world; many of them are seen in this film, which won the Academy Award for best documentary feature in 2005.

Cast & Crew

Geralyn White Dreyfous
Executive Producer
John McDowell
Original Music
Ross Kauffman
Film Editor
Nancy Baker
Film Editor
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Critic Reviews for Born Into Brothels

All Critics (108) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (103) | Rotten (5)

  • Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman's Born Into Brothels is both sustained and ultimately sunk by its lofty intentions.

    September 29, 2017 | Full Review…
  • A devastating portrait of impoverished Calcutta children who are born into the sex trades, yet the film is also an inspiring document about human possibilities and the need to strive despite impossible odds.

    March 27, 2005 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • One feels manipulated rather than enlightened.

    March 11, 2005 | Rating: 3/5
  • A beautifully made essay on a filmmaker's efforts to teach the children of Calcutta's prostitutes the fine art of photography.

    March 11, 2005 | Rating: 4/5
  • The film says all it needs to say through the photos of the kids and their excited, wide-eyed reactions when they realize the outside world is paying attention to them.

    March 11, 2005 | Rating: 3/4
  • Born Into Brothels is great humanitarianism, but it's not great filmmaking.

    February 24, 2005 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Born Into Brothels

  • Jan 03, 2010
    Heartbreaking especially when you consider that the kids aren't saved. We need to put an end to this.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 06, 2009
    A story and a message that should be told as much as possible. My Mother tends to say, do whatever you want, but when a Hungry Human is standing infront of your Door no matter if he/she your foe, never send them away hungry. Feed them.
    Wahida K Super Reviewer
  • Feb 03, 2009
    An unforgettable documentary capturing the dark underbelly of poverty and forced prostitution within the Red Light District of Calcutta, India. The movie focuses on the sons and daughters of prostitutes who hope and dream for a better life. Definitely a heart-breaker! Personally, I teared up a lot.
    Dannielle A Super Reviewer
  • Jan 17, 2009
    A hard watch but a story that needed to be told.
    Randy T Super Reviewer

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