Touhid A. Chowdhury


The human quest for securing, recording, and preserving memories of reality lead to the invention of motion pictures, which then gave birth to documentary films. Documentary filmmaking has radically evolved in recent years. Capturing reality come into scrutiny as more and more technological development allows the documentary filmmakers to design and articulate reality more subjectively than ever before. Born Into Brothels is a film about real people from the red light districts of Calcutta. Poverty and disease are two common phenomena of the people who live in Sonagachi, Calcutta’s red-light district. Another name of the documentary, Calcutta’s Red Light Kids, skillfully turns audience’s focus on the children of the brothels from Calcutta, which in a way, establishes that this film is about kids and not prostitution. The fact that Born Into Brothels is about children of prostitutes and not about prostitution makes it an intriguing example in analyzing the presented “reality” as well as the filmmakers’ perspectives. This article intends to investigate specific filmic and editorial techniques that documentary filmmakers use in articulating the inevitable reality of society. This article argues that Born Into Brothels tries to invoke humanitarian awareness among the audience and in a broader sense into society.

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