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Director Louis Malle tackled a social taboo and made 12-year-old Brooke Shields a star with this controversial examination of child prostitution in turn-of-the-century New Orleans.
Violet (Shields) is the daughter of a prostitute (Susan Sarandon) who works at one of the brothels in New Orleans' legendary red-light district, Storyville. One day, photographer Ernest Bellocq (Keith Carradine) arrives at the brothel to take photos of the prostitutes and becomes fascinated with Violet, who is fast approaching her 12th birthday and a subsequent initiation into prostitution. When her mother moves to St. Louis in search of marriage and respectability, Violet determines to marry the much older