My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.



I watch an awful lot of documentary films, many cover different aspects of culture or wildlife in western Asia.  But I don't think any have moved me quite the way Born Into Brothels has.

I first saw this film on a DVD rental almost two weeks ago and I've just watched it a second time.  It's about a professional photographer living in Calcutta, India, who had ventured into the Red Light District in order to take photographs.  Once there, she was amazed at the number of children and began teaching them about cameras.  She initially felt this was a good way to break the barriers and be able to photograph those who preferred to remain anonymous.

She got quite a bit more than she bargained for as the photographs of the kids revealed an entirely different level of life within the dens of prostitution.  The kids live — and their mothers work — amidst overwhelming poverty and tremendous obstacles preventing them from escaping their lives.  The American photographer becomes determined to help the children break free and her efforts to provide an education — a future — for them is at times thrilling, frustrating, and heartwarming.

As I watched this film, I found myself laughing at times, crying or angry at other times.  It's one of those pieces that you watch while wondering what you can do to help.

The photographer has set up a non-profit organization, Kids With Cameras, through which you can offer assistance either through cash donations or purchasing several items.  The DVD isn't yet commercially available (I received mine through Netflix), but should be released later in the Fall (buy it from KWC rather than a retailer like Amazon so they receive 100% of the proceeds).  The film's soundtrack (featuring some really cool original music) is available for preorder, and the companion book has recently been published, featuring some of the great photographs taken by the children in the film as well as behind-the-scenes stills.  Also available are high-quality Gicleé prints (running $250 to $500 each) or, for the person with a large wallet (and heart), a signed limited-edition portfolio for $10,000.

All of the proceeds from these donations go towards teaching photography to margianilized children around the world and the organization has a mission of furthering their education through setting up scholarships or even building their own schools.

Believe me, after watching Born Into Brothels, seeing the faces of the children both in good times and bad, you will want to do something to help.