Directed by Kim Longinotto
98 min | 2015 | UK | Not Rated
*Post-film Skype Q&A with subject Brenda Myers-Powell moderated by 90.9FM KRCL’s Lara Jones.
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.”
-Description courtesy of Sundance Institute.
Winner: Directing Award for World Cinema Documentary – 2015 Sundance Film Festival;Official selection: 2015 Sundance Film Festival
Women Stories series is sponsored by
Liz Lockette and Dr. Dave Thomas
Planned Parenthood of Utah
Sheryl GinsbergMaxine Hanks
Presented in partnership with
YWCA of Utah
The Junior League of Salt Lake CityThe Rape Recovery Center
About the series
The Utah Film Center is launching a new film series by women directors from around the world representing the lives and stories of women on September 11, 2014 entitled Women’s Stories. The feature films included in the series highlight the accomplishments of women working in the film industry, while focusing and reflecting on issues and struggles that women continue to face daily, including the ongoing need for education and empowerment of their gender. Each film offers an opportunity to increase awareness, engagement, and advocacy around these critical issues facing women and girls in local communities and around the world.
Prior to each screening, the Film Center will host a private reception for Utah Film Center members and invited community leaders to connect and network over food and beverages, and following each film 90.9FM KRCL midday host Eugenie Hero Jaffe will moderate a Q&A with the filmmaker, or a panel discussion illuminating the issues introduced by the film highlighting actions for social change.