This Week At Enlighten : Born Into Brothels


 Directed by: Zana Briski & Ross Kauffman/85 mins/ India/ Colour/Digital

 Synopsis:  Born Into Brothels is a 2004 documentary directed by Zana Briski & Ross Kauffman. It has won an Oscar for the Best Documentary including 13 other wins & 3 nominations.   Within the Red Light District of Calcutta this documentary explores the fruitless lives of the sons & daughters of prostitutes through photography & film. The director (Zana Briski) is determined to use the photography to provide the children with the opportunity for higher education, hope & a better life. By the end of the film most of the children are enrolled & attending classes, however not all take the opportunity & choose to return to the brothels.


            Won an Oscar, Golden Kinnaree Award, Audience Choice   

             Award & Truer Than Fiction Award for Best Documentary Feature.




  1. Update on the Kids of Calcutta
    As of November 2006

    Avijit, 17, completed his first year of high school in the U.S. in 2005. After spending this past summer at the Sundance Film Lab, he is now in his junior year at an excellent private school in Salt Lake City. He will be participating in the “Show and Tell” exhibit at the Zimmer Children’s Museum in L.A. next spring.

    Manik, 15, is now starting his second year at FutureHope, which he really enjoys. He recently travelled to Sikkim on a trip with his classmates. Manik visits his mother often and still flies kites.

    Shanti, 16, was also accepted into FutureHope last year and is currently in class 8. She is very happy at FutureHope and continues to excel in her studies.

    Tapasi left Sabera earlier this year and is currently attending a local school. Now 17, she enjoys singing and is very good at sewing. Her younger sister continues to stay at the Sabera Foundation.

    Suchitra, 20, is living at home and currently working for a greeting card manufacturer.

    Kochi (her real name is Monty) is now 14 years old. She is currently in class 7 in her fifth year at the Sabera Foundation. Kochi now speaks fluent English and enjoys science, in addition to playing the violin and the cello. She hopes to continue her studies in the U.S. in the near future, and Kids with Cameras is researching potential schools and families to host her stay.

    There are three other children who were not featured in the film, but who participated in Zana’s workshops and with whom we have maintained close relationships and continue to support:

    Mamoni, 14, whose prints are included in the traveling exhibit and book. Mamoni faced a particularly difficult year, after being forced to marry and enduring the death of her mother. She is back at the Sabera Foundation, and still wants to be a doctor. She hopes to study in the U.S. as well, with the support of Kids with Cameras.

    Binod, 20, is a talented artist who specializes in watercolors. Sensitive and artistic, he is currently completing class 12 at FutureHope and wants to continue studying art in college.

    Madan, 19, was one of Zana’s first students, and has a lifelong interest in art, literature and yoga. He still lives at home in the red-light district but is studying commerce at university in Calcutta. KWC will continue to support his education through university.

  2. This seems like a well-researched work Anand…kudos to you!…It would be great if you continue to keep us updated about the trivia’s & other interesting film news-I think this makes film-viewing more interesting & enjoyable.

  3. […] except in innocuous settings. The story of how this transformed the lives of the children (also here): Avijit, 17, completed his first year of high school in the U.S. in 2005. After spending this past […]

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