Monday, May 9, 2011

Hot Docs 2011 - The Interrupters

The Interrupters
By Steve James, 2011

Hoop Dreams director Steve James came to the Hot Docs Film Festival this year with a documentary about the state of violence in Chicago. The Interrupters follows the workers of a group named CeaseFire, a committee dedicated to intervening in altercations and preventing violence in the harsh streets of their city. The film is a lengthy 142 minutes, but the screening felt steady and brisk. With this film, James has captured a city in turmoil with grace, humour and empathy, and he succeeds as well as he does because of the wonderful subjects he interviews and focuses on. CeaseFire's Ameena, Eddie and Cobe offer a world of history and wisdom not just to the many young Chicagoans they are helping, but to the audience as well. The film is edited in the default "seasons of the year" style, but it is such an emotional and powerful piece that tears were often running down my face throughout the screening. Another festival favourite.

5 out of 5

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