Pecker was a bit of a bizarre movie, but definitely entertaining. I tend to like these tongue-in-cheek sorts of films, so overall I enjoyed it. The story is centred on “Pecker” (what IS that name?), a simple but passionate young photographer whose work is noticed by a New York art critic. He skyrockets to fame in the art world, but of course, there are consequences in his real life. I liked the small details and moments in this film and the eccentricities of the characters. It was quite funny. The thing I liked most about Pecker’s character was his fearlessness with his photography, how he doesn’t shy away from people and he does whatever he needs to to get the shot, but in the end he has learned a lesson about taking it too far and finds a balance. A good lesson for any photographer.
Born Into Brothels was my favorite of the films I chose to see. It is, in a word, heartbreaking. I sat alone in a classroom for the whole film, transfixed, and burst into tears approximately every seventeen minutes. The movie follows photographer Zana Briski on her journey into a red light district in Calcutta. Initially drawn to document the lives of the women working in the sex trade, she found herself becoming increasingly concerned with the children who live out their lives there. She handed cameras to several of these children, and in this way, they shared their stories and the world through their eyes. This film was incredibly moving and eye-opening. It will stick in the back of my mind for a long time. What struck me most about this movie, and the really devastating part, is the utter hopelessness of these kids lives. They were born without a chance. How tragic, and unimaginable for those of us who have had all the opportunities in the world. The film is unflinching is its depiction of the despair of such a situation, but it is also uplifting enough to create a balance – the viewer is left sad and questioning, but still a little hopeful, that perhaps the introduction of art and beauty and self-expression into a child’s life, along with a desire to help from someone who cares, can sometimes, just sometimes, be enough to really make a difference.