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Born into Brothels

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Overview

Born Into Brothels is a documentary about the inspiring non-profit foundation Kids With Cameras, which teaches photography skills to children in marginalized communities. In 1998, New York-based photographer Zana Briski started photographing prostitutes in the red-light district of Calcutta. She eventually developed a relationship with their children, who were fascinated by her equipment. After several years of learning in workshops with Briski, the kids created their own photographs with point-and-shoot 35 mm ...
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Overview

Born Into Brothels is a documentary about the inspiring non-profit foundation Kids With Cameras, which teaches photography skills to children in marginalized communities. In 1998, New York-based photographer Zana Briski started photographing prostitutes in the red-light district of Calcutta. She eventually developed a relationship with their children, who were fascinated by her equipment. After several years of learning in workshops with Briski, the kids created their own photographs with point-and-shoot 35 mm cameras. Their images capture the intimacy and color of everyday life in the overpopulated sections of Calcutta. Proceeds from the sale of the children's photographs go to fund their future education. Directed by Briski and filmmaker Ross Kauffman, Born Into Brothels was shown at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004 as part of the documentary competition.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Directors commentary with Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski; Special video commentary by the kids watching selected scenes of the film; Deleted scenes; "Reconnecting" - an update of the kids 3 years later; Interview segment with Charlie Rose; Academy Award acceptance speech; Production stills; About Kids With Cameras; Theatrical trailer; Trailer gallery
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Editorial Reviews

Washington Post - Desson Thomson
Doesn't just bring you to the edge of the hopeless zone, it takes you right into its homes where the children play.
Boston Globe - Ty Burr
This is the kind of film that reminds you of what movies, at their best, are capable of.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/20/2005
  • UPC: 821575534253
  • Original Release: 2003
  • Rating:

  • Source: Velocity / Thinkfilm
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:23:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Technical Credits
Zana Briski Director, Cinematographer, Co-producer
Ross Kauffman Director, Cinematographer, Co-producer, Editor
Nancy Baker Editor
Dave Baruch Sound/Sound Designer
Geralyn White Dreyfous Executive Producer
Andrew Herwitz Associate Producer
John McDowell Score Composer
Ellen Peck Associate Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Born Into Brothels
1. Opening Credits [4:30]
2. Children [3:28]
3. Learning Photography [4:32]
4. Photos by Kochi [3:54]
5. Never Said No [3:31]
6. A Trip to the Zoo [4:18]
7. Puja [3:42]
8. Photos by Suchitra [4:23]
9. Avijit [3:55]
10. Photos by Avajit [5:18]
11. Home From the Beach [2:18]
12. Without Help [4:06]
13. Preparing Documents [3:48]
14. Photos by Tapasi [4:42]
15. The Exhibition [3:37]
16. Interviews [4:43]
17. Passport [3:31]
18. Going to School [3:52]
19. Last Chance [8:00]
20. End Credits [2:50]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Born Into Brothels
   Play Movie
   Scene Index
   Set-Up
      5.1 Dolby Digital Surround
      2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo
   Special Features
      Director's Commentary With Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski
      Theatrical Trailer
      "Reconnecting" - An Update on the Kids 3 Years Later
      Special Video Commentary by the Kids Watching Selected Scenes of the Film
      Deleted Scenes
      Production Stills
      About Kids With Cameras
      Academy Award Acceptance Speech
      Interview Segment With Charlie Rose
      Trailer Gallery
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Art is the Common Denominator

    BORN INTO BROTHELS won the Academy Award for documentaries: it should have also won the Humanitarian Award. Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman have not only created a captivating film about the plight and survival instincts of a group of eight children who were born to prostitutes in the red light district of Calcutta: they have given us a visual montage of the images captured by these children, through the cameras as lovingly instructed by Briski, that look back at the environment in which they are living. Without being the least bit preachy, Briski and Kauffman entered the infamous red light district, moved in so as not to seem voyeurs, and while Briski continued her long and successful portfolio of the women who ply their wares as the only means to overcome poverty, they discovered that the children of the prostitutes were curious, bright, and desirous of learning the magic the camera can produce. We meet each of the eight children (three boys and five girls), learn the background and outlook of each and then watch as they embrace photography. Their photographs are so fine and their futures so grim that Briski and Kauffman pledge themselves to find paths of escape from their doomed state. Briski works to place them in boarding schools and enters their photographs in an international Press Group exhibition in Amsterdam. The children have such pride and personal growth that they are thrilled when on boy is selected to represent them at the exhibition in Amsterdam. Briski also arranges for exhibitions of the photographs, both internationally and locally so that all of the children can view their art in a respected place. Yet after elevating the future outlook of these eight children we see that only a few continue to have bright futures: the shame of their social caste and the mark of their 'criminal' parents is stamped on them forever. Some escape, others join the line. The photography is splendid, rich in color and subject matter, and the video camera following Briski through the squalid red light district, pausing to hear abusive mothers and drugged fathers deny their children passage into a better life, hearing the wisdom of the elders who desire something more for these children, captures a world few know. Devoted as Briski and Kauffman are to their dream, they remain realistic and document an element of life in a third world country that is illuminating. This is a touching film without being maudlin, beautiful without ignoring reality. In English and with subtitles for the children's commentary. Highly Recommended for all viewers. Grady Harp

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the best

    This was outstanding. It was amazing!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Incredible

    This was one of the best documentaries I have ever see, very moving, and it broke my heart to see children living like that. A must see.

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