30 August 2012 | evanston_dad
Chicago at War
Only 9 reviews?!! This movie needs to be seen!
I live in Chicago, and every morning the Chicago Tribune has a headline tallying the overnight wounded and dead. It's not at all unlike the beginning days of the Gulf War, where every news hour would begin with the number of soldiers killed that day. The difference being that those stories gradually subsided as the numbers dwindled, and they were based on deaths in an actual military conflict. There are neighborhoods in Chicago that are as much like war zones as any area of Afghanistan, but no one is paying attention.
"The Interrupters" doesn't really try to address why no one is paying attention. It doesn't need to, because everyone pretty much knows the answer even if they're not willing to admit it to themselves. These aren't rural white kids getting killed for their country; these are poor, disenfranchised black kids who most people don't care about. Instead, this documentary follows a few members of CeaseFire, a nonprofit group comprised of past gang members, street criminals, etc. who are now using a tactic of intervention to stop chains of violence before they spiral out of control. These people are deeply admirable. They're not trying to break up gangs, they're not police informers. They're simply trying to make one person understand how pointless it is to shoot another person, no matter what grievances are at play.
This film is by Steve James, the same director who did the tremendous "Hoop Dreams," and if it doesn't have that film's epic scope, it has a more immediate sense of urgency.
After watching "The Interrupters" my wife and I were instantly online looking into ways to support CeaseFire. I hope others do the same.