What makes a man become a pimp? What turns young girls to tricks?
I went to DOC NYC, New York’s film festival to see Kim Longinotto’s most recent film “Dreamcatcher. In this film, cameras follow the life of former prostitute and drug addict Brenda Myers-Powell. She uses her dreamcatcher foundation to speak to young girls and women who are at risk teens or currently prostituting, in hopes to help them change their lives for the better, as she did.
Watching this film I must say that it is truly inspiring to see a woman like Brenda who came from such a damaging lifestyle to turn it around completely just to her best to help these ladies. She is genuine in what she is doing and because of that these ladies trust her and they look up to her. As a woman it was nice to see that these young girls have someone they can turn to for help. One girl told Brenda she was sold for drugs at 11-years-old by her mother. She was getting beat on by her mother boyfriend (who was a drug dealer) as well. She turned to prostitution. At 20 she went to ask for Brenda’s help. What was sad was to hear her say she asked for help before and people told her they would but they never did. How many young girls have asked for help but no on did? Even after what her mother did she forgave her.
And to see the forgiveness in this now young lady heart was truly amazing.
I loved that Kim interviewed Brenda’s former pimp. It showed how someone can fall into that lifestyle. Men having multiple women is okay in society. It’s respected by other men. It’s accepted. No wonder being a pimp will look cool to a young boy.
“I didn’t grow up saying ‘I want to be a pimp’,” He said “Older women were attracted to me and they would give me money.”
At a young age he left home because of witnessing his father abuse his mother. What was the most interesting thing in the film to me was hearing him say because his mom stayed with his father he thought he had to beat on a woman if he wanted her to stay. Domestic violence is such a big issue still til this day and I couldn’t help but wonder, how many young men and women think that way. And I asked myself is that why some do it? It makes sense.
Kim did an amazing job exploring sex exploitation, neglect and violence. I didn’t know if I would like this film or not, but I did. It inspired me to help even more.