Dreamcatcher

98 minutes 2015

Produced in the UK but shot here in Chicago, this unflinching documentary trails Brenda Myers-Powell, an activist with the not-for-profit Dreamcatcher Foundation, as she makes her rounds on the west side, distributing condoms to girls on the street, warning at-risk high schoolers about the perils of prostitution, and counseling neighborhood hookers who want out of the business. Myers-Powell understands the psychology of human trafficking—for years she turned tricks herself and, by her own admission, learned how to exploit other girls to survive—and her advice is admirably sober, clear-eyed, and devoid of sentiment. In documenting her work, director Kim Longinotto (Divorce Iranian Style) reveals how family dysfunction feeds the cycle of misery: numerous teens in the high school group say they've been molested or raped at home, and one reformed pimp explains how he learned the trade from his father.

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