Glasgow Film Festival 2015: Dreamcatcher
Globe-trotting documentarian Kim Longinotto hits the streets of Chicago for Dreamcatcher, the study of Brenda Myers-Powell, a former prostitute who now counsels streetwalkers and schoolchildren on how to stay safe and put themselves on better paths.
The contrast between the current Brenda, full of warmth and composure, and her history, whose lows involve shocking abuse and violence, is extraordinary, and the fact that she knows the traps for poor young women and has no ego about her salvation helps her gain the trust of others. Longinotto is profoundly talented at getting us in unlikely rooms, and here we witness an inspiring example of personal transformation and notice the eerie similarities in individual experiences that lead different people into lives of sexual exploitation.
There’s no way to describe the subject matter of Dreamcatcher without making it sound either grim or schmaltzy, but it’s a surprising, unlikely record of the peaks, troughs and specificity of being human.