Born Into Brothels - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Born Into Brothels Reviews

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April 18, 2012
An inspiring documentary with a photography take, capturing the lives of a group of children in a bleak red light district and the humanitarian journey to provide them education and opportunities to share their talent .
April 14, 2012
intense, uplifting film
February 7, 2012
Fabulous concept with an inspiring story.
January 21, 2012
A gorgeous documentary where children who's mothers worked in brothels in India, were given cameras to capture their world around them.
December 10, 2011
very well done and very inspirational. highly recommended.
November 19, 2011
Quite a film, it shows the dark and seedy side of brothels and that children are born and even led into such a life. It is inspiring to see how the children respond to their benefactor and shocking what kind of foul language the children experience day to day from people who should know better. 10 out of 10.

A "super-reviewer" claims it could've been "better made"! What arrogance! I suppose that it won an award and the filmmakers were relative "newbys" means nothing? Why do people review a film and place "pre-set" expectations upon it?

If I weren't open to the potential viewpoint of a filmmaker then I imagine I wouldn't have liked "Before Sunrise" or "Before Sunset" or even "Star Wars"! However, I don't try to limit my experience of a film nor make demands (for the most part) of the filmmakers (aside from prefering that films be unique or at least interesting or sensible).

As far as I am concerned, Hollywood filmmakers largely treat their audiences with disrespect or disdain whereas foreign and Canadian filmmakers do their best when making a film. Make my films Canadian or foreign (rather than Hollywood)!
October 31, 2011
Got Me Seriously Upset. What Chance Do Some People Have? You're Family Of Origin Is Such A MASSIVE Determinant On Your Life. Some People In The Western World Don't Realise How God-Damn Lucky They Are Just To Be In The Burbs Rather Than The Slums. I Dare You To Watch This & Not Be Upset...
September 24, 2011
Born Into Brothels is a documentary from 2004, and it was directed by Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman. In 2004, it was nominated and won an Oscar for best documentary. It follows the two documentarians on their journey through Sonagchi, Calcutta. They bring the audience into the red light district there, and expose the seedy culture which lives there. Briski and Kauffman befriend a group of prostitutes and children, and have them help in bringing the more horrific side of this country to the screen. Zana Briski is also the narrator throughout the film who interviews the children, and is attempting to find a way to get these kids out of the brothels and into boarding school. Most of the kids will one day grow up to join their mothers profession as prostitutes. At times this is a hard film to watch, as the filmmakers bare witness to the more heartbreaking sides of poverty and create a genuine love in the audience toward these people. They are real people to us, and we join them in their hardships, and also share with them in their joy.
The film has a great opening shot. It simply shows a lightbulb, surrounded by darkness, with moths being drawn toward this one illuminating light. In that one scene the entire theme for the movie is captured. Throughout the rest of the film you watch some heinous events play out, and yet there is always a sense of hope. It's not necessarily a hope in a tangible thing, but there's always a hope in the fact that there is more to life than what these people are going through. This most explicitly shows itself in the photos that the kids take. The directors gave a handful of the children cameras to take pictures of anything they want. They live in this depraved world, and it would be very easy to simply photograph the dark sides of their lives, but instead they choose to photograph the beauty around them. In any other context these photos would be considered beautiful scenery, but knowing the background to the pictures there's an undertone of tragedy amidst this beauty. It's a very human, and beautiful, metaphor. They may be beaten down and outcast in many ways, but wether its in the comfort of each other, or the longing for a better tomorrow, these people always find a way to keep on trying. That was the theme that hit me the hardest while watching the film; the fact that these people have hardly anything, and yet the continue to hope and continue to find a reason to live everyday. It's a theme and a story which puts our western lives into perspective and creates a paradoxical mix of sorrow and joy.
Another scene, about half way through the film, gives incredible insight into these children's lives. The scene involves a road trip for the children to a nearby beach. This may not seem like a profound place to learn more about these children, but it's one of the most affecting parts of the film. The joy that they get from simply chasing waves on the beach is both heartbreaking and uplifting. It was much more than simply going to the beach for these kids, it was a chance to leave that corrupting society that they live in. Even if it was to a location a mere 30 minutes away, that 30 minutes of distance lifted a very recognizable burden that they live under. The editing is sharp and impacting throughout the entire film, but particularly in this scene. It blends video that presents the excitement in the kids faces and also edits in the pictures that they take. This combination is noticeable because it puts you inside these kids eyes, and allows you to see the happiness they have from a first-person perspective. That's really what this film accomplishes to do from the very beginning. It puts you in the shoes of these children by using the photos and the silent, and more subtle, shots of their lives. You begin understanding these children even though most who will watch this film have never had to deal with the situations these children are in.
It highlights the innocence of childhood, and the contrast of the evil which is in the world, in one of the most threatening environments imaginable. In the end of the film, everything doesn't magically fall into place. There isn't a "happily ever after" type conclusion for all of the children, and yet there is still that hope that is so greatly shown in that opening shot. There is a happy ending for a few of the children, but it doesn't diminish the fact that there still are children left to live in this environment. This creates a documentary that is vivid and personal. The audience is given a taste of what can happen for these kids if they have someone to fight on their behalf. It's a satisfying ending bringing it full circle, and expressing the fact that everyday is a struggle for these people, and yet hope can still prevail.
August 19, 2011
I hope there is a follow-up done about these kids.
½ August 18, 2011
A half decent insight to children brought up in brothels, but didnt tackle the prostitution issue much at all, just focussed on the underprivileged kids. Their path towards family line prostitution was only shallowly explored. While the journey to education was covered, they failed to explore the reasons the students dropped out, a much more pressing matter. They also failed to adequately cover the family unit in enough depth.
July 31, 2011
I was going through academy award winning documentaries and came across this one. It's to put is simple a brilliant film. You feel for these kids that are forced to grow up in such a hard place. And many of them actually have great talent. I think they are forced to find beauty in an ugly place to get through the day and to capture that is really inspiring.
½ July 17, 2011
Fantastic Documentary. They did a good job of trying to show some good in a very dark world. We need to be reminded that places like this exists and kids are forced into this world and no matter how much bad surrounds them they are still smart, artisitc and have lots of love to give. I loved seeing their pictures.
July 14, 2011
Very touching and eye opening
July 6, 2011
Not sure if I could bear to watch this.
July 3, 2011
This is the truth and it happens...it's so close to home...yet.
June 20, 2011
A truly insightful and heartbreaking documentary. It was so well done.
½ June 9, 2011
B
I progressively watched this movie through four different sittings, which admittedly altered my reception of it. Still, I'm not sure the film is anything remarkable as a whole, but the individual children that make it up are fascinating, inspiring, and heartbreaking.
May 31, 2011
really good! watched it for my english summative and i enjoyed it :) cool story but the kids' stories are kinda sad... happy ending for most of them though :)
½ May 16, 2011
Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman's Oscar winning documentary sheds light on both the hope and hopelessness of children born in Calcutta's red light district.

The story is told from the perspective of a group of children who all live in the red light district. When the children learn how to take photos with cameras provided by Briski, they open their minds to a host of future possibilities.

In a world of illegal bars, hash smoking, prostitution, and abject poverty, the kids have many hurdles in front of them. Sadly, only a few will escape the doom that they have been born into.
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