MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,844 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 6,790 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 33 titles
created 31 May 2012
 
a list of 22 titles
created 19 Jul 2012
 
a list of 46 titles
created 03 Sep 2012
 
a list of 47 titles
created 11 Nov 2013
 
a list of 23 titles
created 5 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 8.3/10 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
Redlight (2009)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 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
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 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
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
Promises (2001)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Several Jewish and Palestinian children are followed for three years and put in touch with each other, in this alternative look at the Jewish-Palestinian conflict. The three filmmakers ... See full summary »

Directors: Carlos Bolado, B.Z. Goldberg, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Moishe Bar Am, B.Z. Goldberg, Shlomo Green
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
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A look at the annual journey of Emperor penguins as they march -- single file -- to their traditional breeding ground.

Director: Luc Jacquet
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Charles Berling, Romane Bohringer
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

From directors Senain Kheshgi and Geeta V. Patel comes PROJECT KASHMIR--a feature documentary in which the directors... See full synopsis »

Directors: Senain Kheshgi, Geeta Patel
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  

A documentary on Al Gore's campaign to make the issue of global warming a recognized problem worldwide.

Director: Davis Guggenheim
Stars: Al Gore, Billy West, George Bush
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

Avjit: There is nothing called hope in my future.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Pairon mein bandhan hai
Performed by Udhbav, Manohar Shetty, Ishaan, Shraddha Pandit, Sonali Bhatawadekar and Pritha Mazumdar
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Moving but flawed Documentary
4 March 2005 | by (South Pasadena, CA) – See all my reviews

It would certainly take a filmmaker of much self-consciousness, something which Zana Briski certainly possesses, to make this film the way she has. Having met with uncooperative roadblocks to shooting a documentary about sex-workers and their families within the squalid confines of Calcutta's red-light district, Briski states early on that she decides to have the children themselves tell their story by supplying them with automatic cameras to use in their own personal ways. The film, however, ultimately becomes an account of one outsider's attempt to save these children from their miserable fates - poverty and sexual abuse. With the children's sex-worker mothers and families, many of whom have apparently spent generations in the district with no escape in sight, used as background elements, Briski focuses solely on the children, entering them into an informal photography seminar where they gather to share contact sheets of their pictures and discuss the problems of shooting amidst uncooperative and hostile subjects and why certain pictures work and why some don't. Thankfully, Briski also interviews the children, and while it's not clear they understand her theories on picture composition, they are, despite being denied education and living amidst fairly brutal conditions of abuse, poverty and indentured servitude, very perceptive and wise to the unfortunate conditions in which they live, their prospects and possess an awareness of the possibilities of life outside of the district. Briski becomes further involved with the children by trying to enter them into school, though most will not accept them because they are the children of sex workers. Indeed, it is the indifference of Indian authorities to the children's plight as much as the abuse they receive from their depraved parents that shocks the viewer. Briski, with some help from some photographic arts people in the United States and Amnesty International, is able to use the children's pictures as a commercial vehicle to raise money to enable them to enroll in a private boarding school (the kids are well aware that education is their only way out of the brothels). Here, Briski's movement somewhat takes over the movie from her subjects, proving how futile western notions of compassionate aid often are to endemic and grave third-world situations like we witness here. This is driven home when of the kids accepted into the boarding school, only one eventually remains because of the economic pressures put upon their families in which the children essentially act as indentured servants, performing household tasks day and night and odd jobs for additional income. So, while the film becomes a parade for Briski's noble cause, I would have liked to have seen more background and interaction between the children and their surroundings, other than simply as child photographers who have been given a brief and, for most of them, fleeting reprieve from their depraved surroundings.


31 of 42 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