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241 Ratings

The Interrupters

Directed by Steve James
United States, 2011


From the Academy Award-winning director of Hoop Dreams comes a story of ex-gang members who are now protecting their communities from the violence they themselves once employed.

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The Interrupters Directed by Steve James

Awards & Festivals

Independent Spirit Awards

2012 | Winner: Best Documentary

Village Voice Film Poll

2011 | Winner: Best Documentary Feature Film

Indiewire Critics' Poll

2011 | Winner: Best Documentary

Critics reviews

James’s tiny crew (three people, including him) anatomizes Chicago’s violence pandemic close-up and from many angles, attending monthly meetings where the interrupters strategize and compare notes, learning about the three leads’ backgrounds and the paths they found out of the mayhem, and tracking their fitful progress and their enormous outpouring of effort and love as they work with several of their cases.
August 17, 2016
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Law enforcement comes across as awkward and misguided, yet it looms, ubiquitous and unexamined, in the film’s margins. James’s depiction of people bearing inextinguishable pain isn’t analytical but, rather, empathetic and powerful; the struggle toward stability of one profound and troubled soul (a thirty-two-year-old man who has spent fifteen years in jail) has a Dostoyevskian intensity.
August 15, 2016
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This powerful and affecting film is also a compelling advertisement for Ceasefire’s methodology, which poses as much of a threat to researchers running spatial regressions in air-conditioned offices as it does to the District 008 hair-gel rookies (who could probably use some training in non-violent ideologies themselves).
August 12, 2011
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