i have been to sonagachi, the red light area that is the backdrop of this documentary, with a friend once. the average male passer-by or solicitor through sonagachi's lane only sees eye-candy in a shopfront, in different shapes, sizes and colours. and certainly they are'nt thinking there are families like any other living there. it is an internalized microcosm that the movie correctly shows it as, like a pariah town. i know some liberal-intellectual calcuttans who hav'nt ever been there in their lives. i was also told it is dangerous to take cameras there. this movie satisfies some part of my curiosity about the place.
i have just one grouse with the well-intentioned ignorance of the film - despite having seen the disinterest of the society and state at large in admitting some of these children into boarding schools - Jana Briski still tries her best to get the children in on their terms. Avijit, the most talented of the kids with cameras, would have to be admitted 2 classes(grades) below his current. I could see and understand his impatience in getting started on a career in photography. Jana and her foundation could have tried to give him a creative education abroad. With the education he'll get now, he might end up giving up the idea of photography as a career. I maybe wrong in expecting so much out of the documentary medium, and those children lives are certainly better than it would have been without Jana's altruism. I would'nt be wrong though if i said that the formal education they would get won't do any good to their raw creativity. I hope they still keep learning life on their own, as they were before Jana come along.