British filmmaker Kim Longinotto has produced a sterling roster of some of the most fierce documentaries about women around the world, but “Dreamcatcher,” her vérité portrait of former sex worker and community counselor Brenda Myers-Powell, may be even more compelling than “Divorce, Iranian Style” and “Rough Aunties,” in no small part because of the dynamic, even transfixing presence of Myers-Powell on the inner-city streets of Chicago and at her Dreamcatcher foundation, which assists at-risk women. After twenty-five years, she’s determined to elevate other women out of lives of exploitation much sooner than she transformed her own. In every gesture, Myers-Powell matches her simple, stern declaration: “If you know somebody got your back, you’ll make it.” 98m. (Ray Pride)
“Dreamcatcher” opens Friday, September 11 at Siskel. Myers-Powell appears at the September 12 and 17 shows.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His multimedia history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” will be published soon. Previews of the project are on Twitter and on Instagram as Ghost Signs Chicago. More photography on Instagram.