Born into Brothels, a life of turmoil. In India, children from Calcutta are born into turmoil. Prostitution, poverty and little hope for the future, can make anyone who sees this documentary feel sorry for these children. Avajit(one of Zana Briski’s pupils)said; “there is nothing called hope in my future”. These children can subdue to the anguish, and follow the lead of their parents, or they can create their future by trying to educate themselves.
The children from Calcutta have a choice, but do they really want to change from this lifestyle?The future of these children starts with parental moral support, and economic stability of the family, which can impact the future of their lives. Watching Born into Brothels, one can sympathize with the life the subjects lead. The depiction of overpopulated, deteriorating environment, and crowded living conditions, set the mood. The children born into these conditions did not ask to “walk the line” (forced into prostitution at the age of 13), they did not ask to clean houses or be verbally beaten by their parents filthy mouths.These children believe this is the way of life in Calcutta, India.
These children have seen no other way of life till now. Tapasi (another pupil of Briski) was quoted saying; “when we first got to use the camera it felt so good. Before we got the chance…we’d watch other people doing it and wish we had a camera too. ” Most of these kids parents did not go to school, so for this family to believe their child Tapasi had a future in photography, was not very promising.Another child named Kochi said; “I feel shy taking pictures outside, people taunt us, they say “where did you get those cameras from? ” The sentiment in this quote particularly signifies how the authoritive figures around Kochi have impacted her choice to become something better. Kochi has regret taking these photographs because of how other individuals look at her. Her intuitiveness is diminished by others spiting her, because of jealousy or fear of incrimination with the pictures she takes. This culture does not give these children a very good chance for success.
The British photojournalist Zana Briski uses this documentary to show all other cultures the roadblocks these children have to overcome to succeed. Briski utilizes her photography and personal experiences to show how these families interact. The personal circumstances and life of prostitution starts the emotional appeal for these kids. These children who are exploited for how they live and what they do, is what grabs your attention as a viewer. You can’t help but feel sorry for them in their predicament.It’s almost a certainty the turmoil in their lives will result in the same path of their parents. As in Avajit’s case when he has won a trip to the Netherlands because of his photographs, but then his parents could not get his paperwork together for his passport.
Is this a normal action of a parent after receiving news their child has received an all expenses free trip, because of pictures he has taken with his camera? These parents of Avajit are giving him no parental support, which leads to Zana Briski’s determination to get his papers in order.These are the instincts that any normal person, especially a parent, should possess. The film shows us over and over again how these children are dealing with a lack of parental support. Zana Briski’s effort to remove these kids from their surroundings is very valiant.
Her grants that she gained from the Sundance Institute, The Jerome Foundation, and The New York state council on the arts are just some of the notables that helped out with her quest. You have to wonder, why the parents of these children have not helped out. What are the authorities doing to help this lifestyle change?Does this society want to change? In the words of V.
S. Naipaul’s Willie Chandran said; “the situation looks hopeless; but these real life women have no time for tears or sentimentality as they “work” at the worst job in the world. ( “in the line”, as it is called in Songachi), because they have hungry mouths to feed and no other way but prostitution to do it. ” Why is this lifestyle still emerging? If prostitution is so called “Illegal” in Calcutta, and over 70% of the women population has this occupation, they should all be in jail.The decline of this occupation could be achieved if the male population would support their family. The males have no jobs, their alcoholics and drug addicts.
To achieve a stable economic home, you can see why these women resort to prostitution to feed their families. A bad moral example set for their children, which in turn can cause a child to follow the way of the family. This is why the children of Calcutta have a grim future. The odds of the environment they live in is against them. In the words of Kochi; “my father tried to sell me; I worry that I may become like them. This statement reflects the feeling of despair, and helplessness that cannot be changed by single individual.
These changes need to start with good parental support, and new jobs in India to promote economic growth. This growth would give the women of Calcutta choice, because the males would be supporting their families. Women could then nurture, and set a good example for their children. The nonsettling fear of your child resulting to prostitution could be avoided, and lifestyle change would start to occur.