The Interrupters (2011)
Critic Consensus: Impeccably crafted and edited, The Interrupters is a tough and honest documentary about street violence that truly has the power to inspire change.
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Critic Reviews for The Interrupters
Ameena Matthews, Cobe Williams and Eddie Bocanegra used to instigate Chicago street violence. Now they live for nipping it in the bud, block by treacherous block.
Where James's film excels is as direct experiential cinema -- without narration, onscreen interviews or acknowledgment of the presence of the camera -- it is an intensely dramatic window into a world.
A sobering but not hopeless look at how the Windy City is attempting to turn around a rising tide of street shooting, through the work of a unique group called CeaseFire.
There's no doubt The Interrupters do some good; but there's also no doubt the problem they're facing is enormous.
The film feels weirdly hands-off and remote, as if glimpsed from a distance.
Audience Reviews for The Interrupters
A powerful look at the epidemic of violence in Chicago. Director Steve James is right on the front lines of a war that Americans do their best to ignore. There are no gimmicks to be found here. Just a raw look at those doing their best to make a difference in a city beset by bedlam.
A deeply depressing, saddening documentary concerning the violence on the streets of Chicago, and how a group of former gang-members give their best efforts to destroy the "disease" that infects the culture they were once apart of. Steve James, no stranger to creating relentlessly nihilistic backdrops that his characters do not realize they can not get out of (seen also in the devastating "Hoop Dreams"), paints a vivid, somber portrait here. It is definitely difficult not to be in awe in this group of individuals trying to stop the chaos, as the genuine concern and sympathy to stop others from going down the same road they did is shown in outstanding detail. Quite simply, this is one of the better documentaries put out in quite some time, matching up against 2010's "Exit at the Gift Shop". It is a very tough watch though, as life on the street is not fun to see and the senseless, arrogant, misinformed young people that throw their lives away for what they confuse to be for a good cause (loyalty, vengeance, etc...) is downright sickening. But it is a story that needs to be seen, heard, and talked about, and James impeccably crafts this - it will not leave you quickly.
a powerful doc from the director of 'hoop dreams,' the film shows the work of violence interrupters, former gang members and ex cons who intervene in disputes and try to diffuse the situations, in the wake of an unprecedented level of youth violence in chicago. kids of 15 and even younger dying in the streets over perceived slights in an endless cycle of paybacks and reprisals, heaps of stuffed animals at death site memorials, raw emotions of family and friends and their interactions with the people who try to break the chains of gang violence. very emotional and inspiring to see good results in some cases. this is streaming on pbs in the US for a limited time: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/interrupters/
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