2011 MSPIFF Review: The Interrupters

posted by The Joe

The Interrupters – ****

Director Steve James has made some of the most important documentaries of our time – with Hoop Dreams even being named by Roger Ebert as the single greatest film of the 90s – and he’s returned with another epic that focuses on Chicago’s wave of urban violence and the people trying to make a difference.

Chicago’s CeaseFire organization is partly comprised of Violence Interrupters, usually ex-criminals who go out on the street and interfere in conflicts that could erupt in a continuous violent cycle. It might just make a dent in the city’s major issues, but the organization relates the problem to that of widespread infectious diseases, where you must aim your focus on the most infected.

The documentary follows a handful of very brave workers throughout the course of a year – the year that saw the death of Derrion Albert gain national attention – as they interject their way into the lives of at-risk citizens. It’s remarkable how much amount of candid, honest footage Steve James was able to capture, and the film earns its lengthy runtime by delving deep into the work, problems, and private lives of both the Interrupters and the troubled youths they watch over.


Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 at 3:39 am