How entertaining? ★★★☆☆
Thought provoking? ★★☆☆☆
4 December 2011
This a movie review of THE INTERRUPTERS.
“We got over 500 years of prison time at this table; that’s a lot of wisdom.”
Great title. It covers a year “in the life of a city grappling with violence.” It is a noteworthy look at those attempting to avert physical conflict in the poorest areas of Chicago, where young people are being killed, injured and sent to prison on an epidemic scale – the analogy to a disease is made. CeaseFire and Violence Interrupters are organisations that have one goal: stop the killings (though not trying to dismantle gangs). We are shown a live flare-up as well as footage of someone being beaten to death. There are interviews with victims, perpetrators, families, the fearful, and those making a difference. And that is what is so refreshing about this documentary, there are not only suppositions as to causes, also possible solutions. Fans of THE WIRE will recognise certain themes, though this side steps that extraordinary show’s pessimism. The quiet sanguinity comes from the interviewees who not only have turned their lives around, but also dedicated themselves to alleviate the downward spirals of others. With only hints at the governmental level, the vast majority is grass-roots coverage. There is a great scene explaining the morality of their cause to a South African delegation. My score perhaps doesn’t reflect the quality of the film. It’s just that the structure, pace and over-view were slightly lacking; otherwise a positive analysis of inner city ferocity, and a proof of redemption and rehabilitation.