Born Into Brothels | Chicago Reader

Born Into Brothels

Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman's Born Into Brothels is both sustained and ultimately sunk by its lofty intentions. This HBO-sponsored documentary takes Briski's decision to teach photography to the children of poor Calcutta prostitutes as its departure point. Not every encounter with these bright and talented kids ends happily, but the filmmakers are trying much too hard to make an upbeat, crowd-pleasing film on an inherently grim subject. Briski's altruism is laudable, but it's hard not to feel alienated by her film's frequently self-congratulatory tone. In English and subtitled Bengali. 80 min.

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