As I mentioned in the previous post, I wanted to return with an entry about a documentary film I recently viewed. Born Into Brothels, an award winning film by Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski, documents the photographic experience of eight children living in the red-light district of Calcutta, India. Under the tutelage of Briski these resilient youngsters find themselves behind the camera lens, documenting their own lives, their own environments, and in some cases, their destiny.
Zana Briski, a photographer based out of New York City, originally came to the red-light district to capture the lives of the prostitutes living in these brothels. During her time there, she became a friend, an "Auntie" and eventually an advocate for some of the children of the very women she came to observe. Their curiosity about photography is what inspired Briski to form a class, teaching these children to see their surroundings through that of the camera's viewfinder. Using 35mm point-and-shoot cameras, the children were able to embark on a journey behind the lens, recording bits and pieces of their lives. It is from these images that money has been raised to help provide them with an education, in hopes of living a better life from whence they came. After filming this project, Zana Briski created Kids With Cameras, a non-profit organization whose mission is to help teach children, from ostracized communities around the world, to embrace art and self-worth through photography. This is a film that I absolutely adore. For many reasons, I recommend you to watch this film. Preview the trailer below.