Director Kim Longinotto’s cinema vérité offers a raw insight mediated only by the occasional subtitle. In letting her subjects speak for themselves, Longinotto avoids impressing an interpretative filter on the voices of these women of colour, facilitating a space to tell their own stories, and refraining from flattened representations of them as victims.

By forgoing a broader socio-cultural analysis in favour of these personal vignettes, Dreamcatcher humanises the issues of prostitution, addiction, and abuse. Technically, Dreamcatcher is stark and functional, though glitzy aerial shots of Las Vegas jarringly break this tone in the film’s later stages.

There’s nothing filmically astounding about Dreamcatcher, but its content is powerful, tragic, and important.



CAST: Brenda Myers-Powell

DIRECTOR: Kim Longinotto


SYNOPSIS: This harrowing, but hopeful documentary follows the day-to-day life of Brenda Myers-Powell, a former drug-addict and prostitute devoted to helping women escape the cycle of prostitution and abuse in Chicago.

The screening of Dreamcatcher was kindly provided by The New Zealand Film Festival.