Film on Kolkata brothels to premiere in US

10/28/2004 12:00:00 AM
A documentary about the children of Sonagachi red light district in Kolkata that has garnered award after award at film festivals is set for theatrical release in the US.

Winner of Audience Awards at the 2004 Sundance, Full Frame, Silverdoes and Sydney film festivals, and the Best Documentary Award at the Seattle International Film Festival, "Born Into Brothels" will see its US theatrical premiere through THINKFilm in association with HBO/Cinemax Dec 8 at New York's Film Forum and will roll out nationally in January.

After its Sundance screening, a critic wrote in The Hollywood Reporter: "Anyone who has ever thought that documentaries lack the emotional impact, drama or sheer movie-going pleasure of fiction films will likely change their mind after seeing 'Born Into Brothels'.

"A look at children growing up around prostitution in Kolkata, this is a work of art so deep and resonant that it puts most narrative films to shame."

"Born Into Brothels", produced and directed by New York filmmakers Zana
Briski and Ross Kauffman
, profiles award-winning photojournalist Briski's efforts to teach photography to a group of extraordinary children in Kolkata's Sonagachi district where over 7,000 women and girls work as sex workers.

Briski first travelled to Kolkata in 1998 and started living with sex workers, photographing their day-to-day lives. She soon forged a bond with a group of their children that lasted more than five years.

It all began with their fascination with her camera. She was charmed by them and taught them photography.

Rather than a grim portrait of their hardscrabble lives, "Born Into Brothels" is a look at the power of art to bring light into blighted lives.