Dreamcatcher / Kim Longinotto

Dreamcatcher, by the renowned British director Kim Longinotto, is the most affecting documentary I have ever seen. In essence, it deals with the human rights abuses we call prostitution, if stripped of the Sex Positive lobby’s propaganda. I had to turn it off for a time after the testimony of one white prostitute, who recalls that after her pimp beat her and broke her jaw, he forced her to perform fellatio and then sodomised her. (Just to show her who’s boss, you understand.) Another pimp explains how he charmed and then brutalised his “girls”, forcing his pregnant partner out on the streets in winter. As a result, his daughter died of lung complications after birth. Longinotto’s camera stops on the working features of a pregnant prostitute standing on one of the most dangerous corners of her city. This, then, is the price that disenfranchised women pay for the “fun” of emotionally detached men. Difficult, essential viewing.

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