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Longinotto's documentary is about Brenda Myers-Powell, who fights against sexual exploitation and supports prostitutes in Chicago. Brenda knows what she is talking about: her own story, involving teenage prostitution and a life of violence and abuse, is in stark contrast to her dauntless energy and optimism.

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Dreamcatcher movie full length review - Hard lives

'Dreamcatcher' introduces us to an astonishingly grim world of poverty, drugs, and systematic abusiveness on the hard streets of Chicago; and also to Brenda, a former prostitute, who now devotes her life to trying to save the next generation from ruin.

She makes an interesting character: her style of speaking has its similarities to that of evangelical preachers, although she appears completely genuine in her message combining self-forgiveness and practical help. The really shocking thing here is quite how decayed the community is: that stories which you might expect would be aberrations appears to be normal for the girls in this film. Indeed, prostitution is clearly a symptom, but in no way the cause, for a society gone badly wrong, and it's scary how damaged the girls already are before they've even left school. Brenda gives them (and us) some hope, but overall the film, though important and compelling, is fundamentally a depressing one.