Friday, March 11, 2005

Running Red Lights

Running Red Lights
By Matthew Scott Kelemen, AlterNet. Posted March 11, 2005.
The children featured in Born into Brothels are growing up fast. Filmmakers Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman hope to give them some tools to navigate with.
Was anybody expecting Million Dollar Baby to sweep the Academy Awards? Once Clint Eastwood's euthanasia drama won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor, a consensus began to emerge in the media that Academy voters went sentimental this year. It was even suggested in some quarters that said sentimental streak extended to the Best Documentary category.
But anyone who actually saw Born Into Brothels, from the inaugural audience at Sundance to the critics screening it for this week's wide theatrical release, knows that there is little mushiness in the film.
"I don't think it is a sentimental film at all," says filmmaker Zana Briski. "I think it's a really honest film about these kids in the red-light district, and it shows everything from their joy and humor and beauty to the really harsh reality of their lives. I would not describe the film as sentimental, although I would describe it as a love story. I think it really is filled with love."
Despite Briski's insistence, the film is touching when not heart-wrenching in its depiction of the Calcutta children's plight. Co-directed by Briski and Ross Kauffman, Born Into Brothels captures her determination to save the kids by first inspiring them creatively, and then figuring out how to get them educations....