Born Into Brothels (2004)—Indian
In 1998 photojournalist Zana Briski moved to a red light district in Calcutta to document the lives of prostitutes. After three years she discovered that the children born into these brothels were fascinated by her camera. Knowing that these kids were destined to a life of sex slavery, drugs and violence, one day she brought the kids ten point-n-shoot cameras and formed a workshop to help them discover the beauty of their own lives through the liberating power of art. This film won the 2005 Academy Award for best documentary, and follows the "class" of nine kids she gathered. Through dogged perseverance Briski was able to get several of the kids into private boarding schools, and even one of them to a major American university. Later she started a foundation called Kids With Cameras that now works in Calcutta, Haiti, Cairo and Jerusalem. There is also a book of the children's photography called Born Into Brothels: Photographs By the Children of Calcutta. Much like the films City of God shot in the slums of Rio de Janeiro and Promises about Palestinian and Israeli kids, Born into Brothels reminds us how much adults have to learn from children.