Tue, Sep 22, 2015, 7pm
3233 E. Speedway Blvd
Producer Lisa Stevens
Protagonist Brenda Myers-Powell
Brenda is on a mission to disrupt the cycle of neglect, violence, and exploitation endured by girls and women in inner-city Chicago. On any given day, she’s performing interventions with at-risk teenagers, female prisoners, and prostitutes on street corners. She uses unconditional love, non-judgmental support, practical help—whatever it takes for them to change their own lives. But the most powerful weapon in Brenda’s healing arsenal is the raw honesty she can offer because she’s been where they are. For 25 years, she survived as a drug-addicted prostitute, even recruiting innocents into the “lifestyle” and abandoning her own children.
Using unobtrusive verité camera work that inhabits Brenda’s miraculous perspective, master director Kim Longinotto follows intimate stories along Brenda’s path. Child molestation, physical abuse, poverty, and silence are among the common denominators of their dire situations. Like a shining star in the darkness, Brenda appears, doing a dance and upending the paradigm: “Hold the rest of the world accountable for what’s been done to you … It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault.”
“Intensely moving…a real-world version of movie-star magnetism”
“Astonishing in its intimacy and wrenching in its emotional rawness”
– Anthony Kaufman, IndieWire
Interviews with filmmaker Kim Longinotto:
Director Kim Longinotto received the Directing Award, Documentary for Dreamcatcher at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Longinotto is one of the pre-eminent documentary filmmakers working today, renowned for creating extraordinary human portraits and tackling controversial topics with sensitivity and compassion. Her films have won international acclaim and dozens of premiere awards at festivals worldwide, including the World Cinema Jury Prize in Documentary at Sundance, a Peabody award, the Cannes Prix Art et Essai Award, the Amnesty International DOEN Award, a BAFTA and Jury prizes at both the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and Sheffield Doc/Fest.