Pretty Baby is a 1978 film about a young girl named Violet (Brooke Shields), her prostitute mother Hattie (Susan Sarandon), and a photographer named Bellocq (Keith Carradine). Violet has lived her entire life in a Storyville brothel, the infamous red-light district of early twentieth century New Orleans. The photographer Bellocq is documenting the prostitutes of Storyville in a mostly detached fashion but becomes obsessed with Violet, set to enter the profession following her upcoming 12th birthday. Eventually the two move in together, but Bellocq finds it difficult to reconcile his romantic ideals about Violet and the harsh realities a life surrounded by prostitution has inflicted on the girl. Pretty Baby is loosely based on the life of Ernest J. Bellocq, whose photographs of Storyville's prostitutes were eventually recognized for their haunting qualities and artistic merit. The film, highly controversial on its initial release, was directed by Louis Malle from a script by Polly Platt.