Born into brothels

Essay by trinketCollege, UndergraduateA, June 2014

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Documentary Film

"Born Into Brothels"

Academy award winner "Born Into Brothels" (2004) directed by Zana Briski and Ross Kaufmann takes place in Calcutta's Sonagachi Red Light District in India.

The film starts with a close up shot of a young girl's face. All throughout the beginning, lots of transitions are used by the editor. The scenes switch back and fourth of the busy street where women line up to sell themselves for money, then the focus is on the children's face again. The innocence shows in their eyes, but they already know what happens behind closed doors, and they know soon it's their turn to "join the line". The scenes are filled with still images of the residents of the Red Light District. The film depicts a hard life for these women and their children. It saddens me deeply that this is the fate of many girls in impoverished countries.

Without help many of these precious children will be prostituting themselves soon, because they are forced by their ignorant parents and their poverty.

What a clever way to make this film! To live with them and form a friendship during the filming process, and to help these children to not end up like their mothers did. A lot of b-roll footage and the children's photos are shown throughout the film. The camera follows the children around in a Cinema verite fashion to capture the action. The footage is shaky but the content of the film is so powerful it doesn't matter. The film has the feel of a home video. The kids at the beach are carefree and on the way home on the bus, as they dance and sing and they're so happy. Seems that because the camera always points upward, I assume that it's hidden as the filmmakers...