The Interrupters—”We’ve been taught violence. Violence is learned behavior”

This weekend, the documentary The Interrupters goes into wider release after its auspicious debut at Sundance and a whirlwind film festival tour. The film is the story of three violence interrupters working to save their Chicago neighborhoods from the violence they once employed. Chicago’s escalating climate of violent crime is being met head on by these former prisoners and gang leaders who now step into the path of violence to stop it where it starts, among their peers and former gang families. The movie—directed by Steve James, who also directed Hoop Dreams—was shot over a year while the three subjects worked with the Chicago organization Cease Fire as they do street interventions to stop shootings and killings.

This organization’s specific crime-stopping philosophy comes from an epidemiologist who believes the spread of violence is like the spread of infectious disease, and to fight it, you go after the most infected first. Because of their street credibility, the Interrupters can cut through much resistance and be heard in a new way. It is a story of hope and redemption and hard truths. It is about never stopping, even in the face of seeming impossibility. It is about doing what your soul tells you you must, even while everyone around you opposes you. It is a film you owe it to yourself to see. Find screenings here.

Here is a page from Cease Fire on how to get involved in your own city, become and advocate or activist. You needn’t step into the line of fire to help bring a stop to urban crime.

One response to this post.

  1. Wow. This looks amazing. Thanks so much for posting. I’m definitely going to see it when it comes to Atlanta in October


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