MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 570 this week

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

7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 6,667 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 67 user | 70 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

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.

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 32 titles
created 17 Jun 2011
 
a list of 40 titles
created 24 Jul 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 47 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 27 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

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

Born Into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids (2004) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Born Into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids.
Won 1 Oscar. Another 19 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Four boys from Sudan embark on a journey to America after years of wandering Sub-Saharan Africa in search of safety.

Directors: Christopher Dillon Quinn, Tommy Walker
Stars: Panther Bior, John Bul Dau, Nicole Kidman
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A profile of homeless Romanian children who were born victims of the nation's reckless population growth policy during its communist era.

Director: Edet Belzberg
Stars: Cristina Ionescu, Mihai Alexandre Tudose, Violeta 'Macarena' Rosu
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two young women follow completely divergent paths in the new, modernizing India-one wants to become Miss India, the other is a fierce Hindu Nationalist prepared to kill and die for her beliefs.

Director: Nisha Pahuja
Stars: Pooja Chopra, Marc Robinson, Ankita Shorey
Spellbound (2002)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Spellbound follows eight teenagers on their quest to win the 1999 National Spelling Bee.

Director: Jeffrey Blitz
Stars: Angela Arenivar, Ubaldo Arenivar, Jorge Arenivar
Redlight (2009)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A powerful feature documentary about child sexploitation, an epidemic happening in every country around the world. Filmed over a four year period, REDLIGHT focuses on the personal stories ... See full summary »

Directors: Adi Ezroni, Guy Jacobson, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Somaly Mam, Reena, Sokha
War Dance (2007)
Documentary | Music | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Three children living in a displacement camp in northern Uganda compete in their country's national music and dance festival.

Directors: Sean Fine, Andrea Nix
Stars: Dominic, Nancy, Rose
Dark Days (2000)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A cinematic portrait of the homeless population who live permanently in the underground tunnels of New York City.

Director: Marc Singer
Stars: Marc Singer
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Filmed in Nepal and India this documentary presents the stories of young girls whose lives have been shattered by the child sex slave trade. The film provides actual footage from inside the... See full summary »

Director: Andrew Levine
Stars: Anuradha Koirala, Tim Robbins, Winona Ryder
Documentary | Crime | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An in-depth look at the torture practices of the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, focusing on an innocent taxi driver in Afghanistan who was tortured and killed in 2002.

Director: Alex Gibney
Stars: Alex Gibney, Brian Keith Allen, Moazzam Begg
Control Room (2004)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A documentary on perception of the United States's war with Iraq, with an emphasis on Al Jazeera's coverage.

Director: Jehane Noujaim
Stars: Samir Khader, Josh Rushing, George W. Bush
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Documentary on the migratory patterns of birds, shot over the course of three years on all seven continents.

Directors: Jacques Perrin, Jacques Cluzaud, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Jacques Perrin, Philippe Labro
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

East meets West in the Deep South. An overcrowded maximum-security prison-the end of the line in Alabama's correctional system-is dramatically changed by the influence of an ancient ... See full summary »

Directors: Andrew Kukura, Jenny Phillips, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Grady Bankhead, Ron Cavanaugh, Jonathan Crowley
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

Admist the apparent growing prosperity of India, there is a dark underbelly of poverty of another side of the nation that is little known. This film is a chronicle of filmmakers Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman's efforts to show that world of Calcutta's red light district. To do that, they inspired a special group of children of the prostitutes of the area to photograph the most reluctant subjects of it. As the kids excel in their new found art, the filmmakers struggle to help them have a chance for a better life away from the miserable poverty that threatens to crush their dreams. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

29 July 2005 (Taiwan)  »

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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Mamuni: [from extra scene on the DVD] When I have the camera in my hand, it tickles my hand and I must take a picture right away.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Sankarabaranam pancha nadai pallavi
Performed by Shenkar and The Epidemics
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A testimony to the transforming power of art
28 February 2005 | by (Vancouver, B.C.) – See all my reviews

In India, red light districts are booming in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, and Calcutta where millions of transient men live and work far away from their homes and wives. The oldest and the largest of these is Sonagachi in Calcutta where the women have organized into a sex trade union of more than 5,000 active workers and have spread awareness about AIDS and HIV, making Sonagachi one of the few red light districts in the country that does not accept clients without condoms. Subject to a class system that puts them on the lowest rung of Indian society, the mostly illegitimate children of the sex workers are also expected to "join the line" when they reach a certain age. Minor girls are the most sought after in the brothels and secure the highest price, making it very difficult for the parents to let them leave, especially when the only other alternative may be the starvation of their entire family.

In 1997, photographer Zana Briski was assigned to capture images of Sonagachi. While the women were reluctant to let her into their lives, the children quickly responded and Briski became a resident of the brothel for five years. During that time, she provided the children with point and shoot cameras, set up classes in photography, and trained them to document the harsh reality of their daily lives. The result is the Oscar nominated documentary Born Into Brothels, a film that takes us inside the squalid brothels and allows us to see the world through the eyes of some of its most vulnerable residents, five girls and three boys, ages ten to fourteen. Shot in dazzling color using a digital camera, we get to know the children through their photos.

There is Kochi, age 10, who is strong, resilient, tough, and sensitive. Avijit, age 12, seems to be the most talented of the group. He draws, paints, takes pictures and, through Briski's patient efforts, was able to obtain a passport to be a part of a photo-editing panel in Amsterdam. Shanti, age 11, is most eager to learn but is troubled and often feuds with her brother Manik. The others: Gour, Puja, Tapasi, and Suchitra all show a unique ability to find beauty in their ugly environment. The film documents Briski's uphill efforts to place the children in boarding schools to escape the cycle of poverty and exploitation. Some manage to find places in the schools but the biggest obstacle is shown to be the children's own mothers and guardians, often protective out of the sheer necessity for survival.

Born Into Brothels is a testimony to the transforming power of art and of one individual's ability to make a difference. Showing the children's art to Western audiences has helped to raise money for the Sonagachi children's education. It may also serve to make people more aware of the potential talent of millions of other third world children who struggle daily for existence on the streets, the orphanages, and the refugee camps of our teeming world.


48 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
To the Directors aerohit-1
here is avijit halder_avijit
simply ridiculous headless_aarjan
Updates on children? slee30
Ebert + Roeper Review hchoudh
Cameras Used? wefoundjon

Contribute to This Page