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Born Into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids (2004)

Two documentary filmmakers chronicle their time in Sonagchi, Calcutta and the relationships they developed with children of prostitutes who work the city's notorious red light district.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Kochi
Avijit Halder ...
(as Avijit)
Shanti Das ...
(as Shanti)
Manik
Puja Mukerjee ...
(as Puja)
Gour
Suchitra
Tapasi
Mamuni
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Storyline

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. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sequences of strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

|

Release Date:

11 March 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Kids of Sonagachi  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$10,580 (USA) (10 December 2004)

Gross:

$3,410,863 (USA) (20 May 2005)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Tapasi: Just today, I took someone's picture and he bad mouthed me. I didn't mind. You really have to put up with a lot if you want to learn to do something well.
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Connections

Featured in The 20th IFP Independent Spirit Awards (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Aankhen khuli
Performed by Lata Mangeshkar and Udit Narayan
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User Reviews

 
Documentary at its best
23 March 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I often disagree with the academy award nominations. It's usually too political to nominate the best movies and performances of the year. Born Into Brothels is an exception, it was nominated and won! The only mistake was not nominating it for best picture.

Brothels is the story of a woman, Zana Briski, who traveled to Calcutta to photograph the brothels. She fell in love with the children and began teaching them photography. The movie is seen through their eyes.

The result is extraordinary in so many ways. Calcutta's red light district is interesting in and of itself. The setting is the first extraordinary feature. The filming makes you feel like you are there. Director Ross Kauffman captures the feeling of being trapped in dark allies with a dark future. Without a director commentary running though the film, you're able to see it all by the way it's been directed. The dark past and future of these families is presented in a beautiful and horrific way.

Secondly, the children are lovable. The story focuses on 8 or 9 children of prostitutes. Each one is unique. Some are incredibly funny, others serious, some are troubled, and at least one has an undeniable talent for photography. You'll leave the theater feeling like you know them.

This is documentary film at its best. It transports us to another country and makes us love the troubled children. What was troubling to me was having to leave the theater never to see these troubled children again. Putting aside the incredible movie-making abilities of these creators, Zana Briski is a true hero.


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