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posted on 10.03.09
by JAX

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I recently stumbled upon this brilliant, hard-hitting documentary film from 2004, providing a stunning examination of the lives of several children's lives in the red light district of Calcutta, India. These children are part of a non-profit, Kids With Cameras, that teaches the art of 35mm photography to impoverished children (example above). The beauty in the film is the trust demonstrated by the children and their families with the film crew and the teacher/photographer, Zana Briski, that is so important in capturing the essence of a subject. Life in the slums isdirty, crowded, and very fast-paced, but learning photography invigorated the children anew with hope and faith. I definitely recommend this movie, especially if you enjoyed Slumdog Millionaire.

**Critical acclaim extends from several film festivals, as well as a 2005 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

**Check for local listings.


1 like.
“I would agree that the film is really good, a definitely worthy of its Oscar. However, within the word of photography, there has been some circulating debate about the ethics, etc. that the film and Zana exhibit. I, for one, am a true proponent of pluralist photography, but I think that it should be done with some care. It has been brought up that Zana did a bit of the seagulling thing where the white person swoops into an area to gather up the problems and change a few things here and there. I am happy that she took the time and energy to work with the kids, but what sustainable program do they have afterwards? Word on the street is that Avijit (sp?) is now attending NYU and thats just ridiculously awesome to have made it out of the circumstances, but were any of the other students able to continue shooting after Zana left? We should certainly consider sustainability when looking at any npo/ngo. anyways, i totally agree that people should watch the film, but viewers should just also consider the film in a social context as well as an aesthetic/human rights context.”
Posted over 6 years ago
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Documentary Photography