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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 (email@example.com)
This is a beautifully conceived and directed film. I knew little about the red light district of Calcutta and certainly nothing of the amazing children whose photographs are not only dramatic but also a tool of empowerment, albeit not entirely successful. One of the best documentaries of 2004. There certainly have been several excellent movies about the misery and hopeless nature of life in red light districts throughout the world, particularly southeast Asia. But this film's decision to focus on the children who not only are born in the brothels, but essentially live their entire lives within this damp and dismal walls. Director/photographer Zana Briski is to commended for bringing this to light. Several of my friends had deep empathy for her frustrating experiences with the Indian bureaucracy as she tries to get the children's art work noticed. Great film.
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