Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Born into Brothels
"I want to show in pictures how people live in this city. I want to put across the behavior of man." Gour (13) said.

Gour is one among the eight kids who communicated to audience through their photographs on the life of ‘NO' hope lived by those who dwell in red light area of Kolkata, in Zana Briski’s Oscar winning documentary film “Born into Brothels.” The other kids are – Avijit (11), Kochi (10), Manik (10), Puja (11), Shanti (11), Suchitra (14) and Tapasi (11) too.

A few weeks back I got a chance to see this documentary that left me deep in thought for hours. Whenever I am fascinated by something, the first thing I does is to google for more details on it. Undoubtedly the search on it led to so many facts on this film, the crew and its cast. Added to that, the controversial remarks as well as the critical rewards. Let me not try looking into the authenticity of it…Let me just be frank on what I loved about this film.

There are a few advantages documentary films have over any fiction. That is nothing but the flexibility on pre-production, production and post-production. Moreover, an uncertain nature of the past, present and future of the film as well as the hardwork and adventure involved in each stage of its fulfillment. A natural documentary filmmaker should have only one objective- to bring the truth in the most appealing form. Documentaries are hence appreciated for the innocence, influence, trustworthiness and reach of its content and not for the beauty or the form of film.

In both the ways “Born into Brothels” is a remarkable film. The content as well as form of this film touch the heart of any genuine viewer. Hats off to the very special thought of filmmaker for ‘living the film’ rather than just ‘doing the film’.

Briski, a documentary photographer, went to Kolkata (Calcutta) to photograph prostitutes. While there, she befriended their children and offered to teach the children photography to reciprocate being allowed to photograph their mothers. The children were given cameras so they could learn photography and possibly improve their lives. It is nothing but the photographs taken by the kids that tells you their story. The narration is by the kids themselves as well as the filmmaker. The children's work was exhibited, and one boy (Avijit) was even sent to a photography conference in Amsterdam. Briski also recorded her efforts to place the children in boarding schools.

Born into Brothels, by Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski, is the winner of the 77th annual Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. It is a tribute to the resiliency of childhood and the restorative power of art.

What we must be appreciating is the true interest filmmaker took to showcase facts though the eyes of children in the most innocent and touching manner as well as the excellent effort they took to save the children from their terrible reality. As a filmmaker I was fascinated by the style of naration, innocence of concept, smooth editing and creative placement of visuals. The music goes well with the mood. Three cheers for the filmmaker's efforts on this cause.

Visit the site:
http://www.kids-with-cameras.org for more.

1 comment:

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