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Born Into Brothels

Born Into Brothels

2004
Documentary
1h 25m
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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Born Into Brothels

2004
Documentary
1h 25m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 61.25% from 450 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(450)
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Rated 17 Jan 2007
62
20th
It's a fairly interesting story, and heartwarming and all that... but it does feel a little bit self-serving. "Look at me, and all the great things I'm doing for these kids!" The film really seems to be a lot more about that than it is about the kids and their lives.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
60
10th
The narrator-director turned an otherwise interesting documentary into advocate journalism in the second half of the film when she decided to help the children she was filming. It just seemed like "look at the good I did" attention-whoring.
Rated 02 Jul 2008
85
92nd
Seeing the beautiful photographs these children take against circumstances that would foster the opposite is a powerful contrast.
Rated 10 Oct 2010
73
88th
A lot of people knock the filmmaker for becoming involved in the story. And if she didn't , what then; a ultimately depressing documentary that works the same as every other one before it? If you film something terrible that you can change for the better, and don't, it may make you a better documentarian, it also makes you an asshole.
Rated 23 Mar 2011
70
38th
I liked it because it presents photography as a window into the kids' world. One of the kids had some real creativity and talent as a photographer, and I was quite impressed with and inspired by some of his ideas and techniques.
Rated 13 Oct 2011
25
61st
"Focuses too much on the production of images and not enough on documenting the world contained within them." - Ed Gonzalez
Rated 05 Aug 2015
72
59th
It's an interesting and emotional documentary, but I didn't really enjoy it. It's heartbreaking and sad, but at the same time also inspiring. However as a documentary I feel this could have been done better, the 'musical interludes' were really distracting, the footage was shaky and combined with the music I was feeling nauseous. Also while of course it's praiseworthy that the director is trying to help these kids, it did shift the focus of attention a bit and not in a good way.
Rated 16 Aug 2016
61
26th
It's a bit self-congratulatory (not completely without reason), avoiding both the bigger picture and intimate or introspective moments. The kids win you over instantly though and some of the material speaks for itself. Doesn't really manage to open a window into the world of the kids & you're mostly left with a few cute and poignant moments. In the end I'm not sure what it want's to be about exactly. Maybe it's not a fair comparison but First Movie pulled off a similar concept a lot better.
Rated 29 Dec 2006
87
69th
Interesting how the story was told.
Rated 21 Jul 2007
16
90th
Two documentary photographers work with the children of prostitutes in Calcutta's destitute red light district, lending them cameras to allow them to document their everyday lives. What follows is a powerful, moving testament to the efficacy of education and compassion in beating poverty, and in shallower terms evidence that photography is far more about experiences than technical skill.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
86
89th
A great documentary with fictional taste in it.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
90
78th
This is a real eye openner. I saw this at a film festival and it really makes you think about how lucky you are to not have to live the way the people in the film do.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
88
74th
Everyone should see this documentary.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
4
43rd
A fairly fascinating (if mildly exploitive) look at Indian kids born to whores.
Rated 16 Aug 2007
95
92nd
By sharply focusing on the most telling moments, the filmmakers let us know these children, each operating with a mix of earthy wisdom (developed from the quiet horror of their surroundings) and headlong joy. The film is neither as depressing as a quick description makes it sound nor as cheaply saccharine as it could have easily become. Instead, it is a piece of clear-eyed reporting and filmed memoir. And, layered with the soft, rich colors of Calcutta, its a visually beautiful thing to behold.
Rated 27 Nov 2007
85
84th
Important movie about the situation in developing nations.
Rated 04 Apr 2008
72
39th
Touching, but strangely, felt a little emotionally empty.
Rated 06 Nov 2008
94
89th
Faniastic documentary that chronicles the lives of several Indian girls, and how their lives change, or don't change after they learn about the art of photography. Very engrossing. Highly recommended.
Rated 09 Feb 2009
75
84th
Normally I would take issue with a documentary filmmaker becoming involved with the subjects of their film's lives, but in this instance it only enhanced the film for me by taking it in a new direction. Everything is hard for the people who live in that area, and the prospects for those children (especially the girls) are dreary to say the least. Once the film begins to focus on the director's attempts to better things for them things really become interesting, I really recommend this doc.
Rated 09 Mar 2009
90
93rd
Heillandi mynd af ungum krökkum sem alast upp í hóruhúsum, sjónarhorni þeirra á lífð og tilraun Zönu Briski til að gefa þeim möguleika á að öðlast nýja framtíð.
Rated 13 Mar 2010
99
93rd
One of the most powerful and moving experiences that I had to undergo.
Rated 26 Oct 2010
94
97th
A heartbreaking, tense account of a woman attempting to help children born into a hopeless world. Briski is dogged in trying to pursue a simple subject (education) through the impossible gates of Indian bureaucracy, class division and family relations, but she's a human figure who wisely allows space for her own fallibility in her film. She finds the kids not quite calcified, but certainly aware of their inevitable positions in society, and what she offers is all the more moving for that.
Rated 24 Jul 2011
95
99th
Meu documentário preferido. Junta um assunto extremamente interessante, com minha paixão: fotografia.
Rated 20 Feb 2012
35
4th
This really should have been great. Unfortunately, it's all about the kids' growing involvement with photography. It felt like it almost completely sidestepped what makes these children's lives so fascinating and devastating.
Rated 31 Jul 2012
85
81st
A must-watch documentary.
Rated 18 Sep 2017
78
64th
I felt that the filmmaker already had the story all plotted out; I mean, she wasn't going to go to Calcutta, give these kids cameras and then fail to "discover" those amazing, incredible talents who are worthy of Sotheby's. But the kids were genuinely sweet, and it was moving to see them struggle against a system that would otherwise give them no chance.

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