Rating: R for language and disturbing images. In Bengali and English with English subtitles
Run Time: 1 hour, 28 minutes
comes down to the children. Bent on
documenting the mysterious women of
out to explore the underbelly of
The youngsters in question – Shanti, Manik, Avijit, etc. -- are bright, inquisitive and unnervingly wise beyond their years. Though subjected to a daily diet of harsh reality they are uncommonly brave and pragmatic. A helpless Briski lends a hand the only way she knows how, by putting cameras into the kids’ hands and asking them to document what they see.
artistic talents are astounding; profound, mature and overflowing with
feeling. With the help of a trusted
friend Briski arranges for a photo exhibition in
Emotions run high and the children are endlessly engaging, their palpable desperation masked by childlike cheer. Briski manages to avoid self-congratulation for her good works, but the subtle whiff of manipulation (bringing human suffering into the living rooms and theaters of the privileged) threatens to nudge this poignant doc into saccharine territory.
Brothels is just what Oscar loves; borne of tragedy and working with unflagging energy to triumph over the odds. In a lackluster Best Documentary category that completely dismisses such outstanding films as Touching the Void, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster and Tarnation, Brothels’ only serious competition is the wryly humorous Super-Size Me. And the award goes to….