That Longinotto has again built a relationship of trust with her unique subject represents a similar achievement to that of Brenda's - the confidence created when a person feels no obligation to share, but understands that doing so might help someone else. Longinotto's skill is in making intimacy she has created seem effortless and in one of the film's most extraordinary scenes, the girls in Brenda's after school club for those at-risk - prompted by Brenda sharing her own story - each describe the sexual and psychological abuse they have suffered at the hands of family members and their friends. What each of the girls have in common is the lack of an understanding adult who will listen to and protect them, as too often their own mothers blame them for their own torment. Their candour is heart-breaking, but having the space in which to share shows that already their futures are more hopeful. From the very beginning of Dreamcatcher it's clear that Brenda is a truly unique person, with a striking charisma and dedication to the women and girls she supports that appears unending. Longinotto's film shines a light on Brenda and her colleagues' important contribution to changing both the legal system's attitude to prostitution, and to the empowerment of women, who are shown that if they want to change their lives, there's someone there who can help them achieve it.
Harriet Warman | @HarrietWarman