The thing about hubster being away on business, it’s both more and less work for me. More work obviously, as I’m with the kids on my own, so there’s no extra set of hands to keep them occupied while I try to get something done. I also miss one of my workout times, which for me these days is a big deal. If I miss it, I crave it, as I really need to have the energy to keep up with the rugrats. Especially since I’m alone in the evenings so I tend to become Ms. Munch-a-lot without anyone else around. On top of that I’ve got to take out the garbage and remember to water the poor parched plants that are at my mercy whenever their reliable keeper is away. I’m known as “Black Thumb” around these parts.
As for less work – I don’t feel the pressure to necessarily keep the house immaculate every evening. Not that it ever is or ever will be immaculate. By now you probably know that I’m not the best cleaner, but it’s a necessity to pick up after the kids because every which way you turn there’s an ankle hazard just waiting to be stepped on. My daily ritual around 5:30 pm is to try (and it’s a big effort!) to transform an erupted Mount St. Helens, into some semblance of a family room. For my husband’s benefit, primarily. He’s the neat freak. It’s the constant battle between the cluttered Chinese and the pristine German in this household. So when he’s away I don’t have to try quite as hard.
With hubby off to Barcelona (I know, what’s my problem, remaining home?!), on my weekly trip to the video store with the kids, I decided to treat myself to a couple of movies. On the offchance that I might have an hour or two to myself after the kids were safely tucked into bed. And also that I might be able to keep my eyes open long enough to watch at least one of them. The thing about me is that I’m a night owl. I really treasure the time, particularly at night, that I have to myself. I’m often hitting the sack after midnight, against my better judgment. I’m either catching the Hour on CBC, or getting caught up in whichever book I’m trying to get through. So when hubster’s away, there’s no timekeeper for me. With that in mind, I rented two movies that I’ve been wanting to watch (when I remember) and that Ian probably wouldn’t mind missing: “Friends with Money” and "Born into Brothels".
Last night after finally getting both kids off (a challenge, because it’s usually Dad’s time with them) I was all tuckered out. But I felt the need to put “Born into Brothels” on, despite the fact that it would be 11:30 pm by the time I got to the closing credits. So in went the DVD, and I was mesmerized with a capital M, for the next hour and a half. I so wish I had kept this one to watch with hubby – he would have loved it.
When I saw this DVD on the shelf, I remembered reading a review about it when it first came out. Then it won an Academy Award for Best Documentary of 2005. I was supposed to put it on the list of “ movies to see” whenever I go to the video store. The imaginary list I started in my head when Liam was born that keeps growing. When I checked it out, the girl said she’s been wanting to watch it but was afraid it would make her sad. It is indeed sad, the situations depicted in the movie, but it is also very inspiring and the story is still ongoing today.
The documentary was made by a photojournalist, Zana Briski, who had spent the last 8 years of her life living among prostitutes in North Calcutta, taking photos of them to showcase their plight to the world outside. A very harsh, dark world, that very few get a glimpse of and very few even want to see. What started as a focus on the prostitutes moved into a labour of love for the children of these prostitutes, who sought her out because of their own curiosity. Through weekly classes, they developed a real love and talent for photography. Each child was given a camera and they captured their own lives in their own ways, and while doing so captured the heart of Zana and her partner, who decided to make a film about this experience.
The photos are incredibly beautiful, and the children are so wonderful, so world-weary already as they have seen so much in their short lives. The girls know their fate as they come from generations of prostitutes. As she kneeled on the ground scrubbing a dirty bowl with even dirtier water, one ten year old’s voiceover said that life is sad and painful, but she’s okay with that as that’s just the way life is. That statement just cut right into my heart – so tragic with no hope. Life shouldn’t be that way for a young child.
The film is beautifully shot. The stories are told by the children in their own voice, and by Zana as she also documents her efforts to help these children get a real shot in life.
I won’t spoil it for you as I think everyone who’s been a child, who has a child, who knows a child, should watch this film. There is a companion book to the DVD that I will be looking to get a hold of.
If I keep my fingers crossed I just may get to the second movie tonight. But I suspect it will pale in comparison to the experience I had last night.