The Interrupters: Combating Street Violence in Chicago
Ameena MatthewsTio Hardiman...
The film shows how the odds are stacked against Chicago’s black and Latino populations since birth; how they’re socialized, the education they receive, the way police treat them, their economic status and racism all intersect to make their entanglement in crime and ending up in jail, at one point or another, not only highly likely, but inevitable.
Choosing to profile three different, highly charismatic, interrupters – Ameena Matthews, Cobe Williams and Eddie Bocanegra – gives the film a very intimate, personal feel. The amount of empathy they have for the people they’re helping is incredible, and so are the lengths they’re willing to go to for them. They give the film, which is pretty tough and grim, a beating heart and a sense of hope; these are people who were in the thick of it all, yet they have managed to turn their lives around and use their experience to help break the cycle. Together, they make the documentary, which is completely free of any bells and whistles, a riveting watch.
Despite the awful subject matter, it’s completely uplifting, and even though the film tackles a very specific problem and profiles a localised group, you don’t have to be from Chicago or directly affected by the violence to appreciate the purpose behind this production.