The Interrupters tells the stories of three Violence Interrupters who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they once employed.
A collaboration between Alex and documentarian (and longtime friend) Steve James, the film is an unusually intimate journey into the stubborn persistence of violence in our cities. The film premiered at Sundance, and then after a national theatrical release aired as a two-hour special on PBS’s FRONTLINE.
WINNER OF AN EMMY, A FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD, CINEMA EYE AWARD AND A DUPONT-COLUMBIA JOURNALISM AWARD.
“One of the top ten films of 2011” — The New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly, The Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times
“Amazing…it tears at your heart and makes you believe that change is possible.” — Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
“Critics pick! A hard wallop of a documentary…has put a face to a raging epidemic and an unforgivable American tragedy.” — Manohla Dargis, The New York Times.
“Mighty and heart-wrenching.” — Roger Ebert
“The film (is) heroically life-affirming.” — Richard Corliss, Time
I first met Joakim Noah in the wake of my documentary film, The Interrupters. Joakim was a fan. As we got talking, along with Cobe Williams, one of the principals in The Interrupters, we shared stories of how profoundly the violence affected friends–and affected us.
Talk to people who have lost a loved one to the street violence and the thing that’s so striking–and unsettling–is how completely isolated they feel. Many never talk about their grief and anger. They pull inward. And yet in listening to them it’s clear that their experiences are profoundly similar–and so this video has a rather simple intent: to let people–especially young people–know they’re not alone.
Our hope is that the video will be used in schools or in after-school programs. Or that it’ll be shown to healthcare workers and to politicians. Pass it around. To borrow from Abbie Hoffman: Please steal this video.