The Interrupters NR CC

Amazon Instant Video

(42) IMDb 7.5/10
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The Interrupters tells the moving and surprising stories of three Violence Interrupters who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they once employed. Shot over the course of a year, The Interrupters captures a period in Chicago when it became a national symbol for the violence in our cities.

Starring:
Ameena Matthews, Jeff Fort
Runtime:
2 hours 9 minutes

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The Interrupters

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Steve James
Starring Ameena Matthews, Jeff Fort
Supporting actors Toya Batey, Cobe Williams, Gary Slutkin, Earl Sawyer, Bud Oliver, Kenneth Oliver, Caprysha Anderson, Sheikh Rasheed, Alfreda Williams, Mildred Jones, Mildred Williams, Lillian 'Madea' Smith, Rashida, Malcolm Malik, Bob Jackson, Anjanette Albert, Rhaea Albert, Eddie Bocanegra
Studio PBS
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 42 customer reviews
Moving and highly recommended.
S. RAY-MATHIEU
The individuals portrayed here are very courageous in their efforts to chip away at the pervasive violence in the communities in which they live.
R. Herzog
The amount of truth in this film will bring tears to your eyes.
Parker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A kids review on February 14, 2012
Format: DVD
The good news: violent crime in our cities has been in decline for more than a decade. The bad news: that's cold comfort to those who live in areas where violence remains prevalent. The Interrupters is the story of a group of brave men and women who are doing something about it; as "violence interrupters," the members of CeaseFire attempt to defuse potentially deadly conflicts as they happen. Director Steve James, whose classic Hoop Dreams captured the difficulty of teenage hoopsters with startling intimacy and power, has delivered yet another haunting portrait of life in urban America, and even though there were many great documentaries in 2011, I think The Interupters was one 2011's best documentaries.
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Format: DVD
*** This review may contain spoilers ***

'The Interrupters' is an excellent documentary about a group called CeaseFire, which primarily employs streetwise, ex-cons as 'Violence Interrupters' on the tough streets of inner city Chicago. The 'Interrupters' are reformed criminals who know the lingo of the street and go around trying to defuse potential confrontations from occurring, cooling down members of their community, who often become enraged due to minor sleights which are misinterpreted as major signs of disrespect.

The group is led by Tio Hardiman, an ex-petty street criminal who later earned a Master's Degree and now heads a "Mission Impossible" team who are 'on call' to nip any potential violent incident in the bud. Remarkably, during a staff meeting shown at the beginning of the documentary, a fight develops right outside where the Interrupters are discussing strategy, and they rush out to quell the violence which involves one youth threatening another with a knife.

'The Interrupters' focuses on the lives of three members: Ameena Matthews, an ex-Gang enforcer, now a spiritual Muslim, who has communication skills as good as any highly-trained social worker; Cobe Williams, who served 12 years for Drug Trafficking and Attempted Murder, now a gentle family man, and Eddie Bocanegra, who was incarcerated 14 years for murder, now a talented artist.

We follow these 'Interrupters' as they work on various 'assignments', troubled individuals (a good number of them young people), who are prone to acting out behavior. Matthews acts as a grief counselor for a family whose son was murdered, a case which was widely publicized on Youtube and received national attention.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Brown on June 27, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
For anyone who wants to understand the need for restorative justice, this is as great a place to start as any. The manifest content is a story of lethal violence among a subset of poor young people of color in Chicago, guided by the narratives of those who have been there, done that, and now trying to help break the cycle. It is as compelling as it is heartbreaking, and beautifully told. Tacitly, it is a story of how systemic bigotry and racism has resulted in a poor community of color turning on itself. Overt racism has quieted in the media and polite conversation among Whites, as Black and Brown people in poor communities continue to receive inferior public educations and fewer job opportunities, thereby mystifying the whole process. My only problem with the film is that White audiences will undoubtedly feel deep sympathy for the characters in this film without ever being challenged to see how the privilege of Whiteness comes at a great cost for many who are not.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Gertler on March 9, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Just amazing. The tragedy of youth violence, the redemption of the teenage thugs who grew up to become "interrupters", the real daily nitty-gritty life in these vibrant but dangerous Chicago streets ... it's all here.

Like James's earlier "Hoop Dreams", this movie is not purely about happy-sappy feel-good endings; there's progress, there's frustration, and you know that tomorrow will bring gunshots and ambulances and crying mothers within blocks of where this was all filmed. But the way this group of brave people worked to make small differences (that can add up to big changes) left me awed. Cobe and Ameena and Eddie will stick with you as examples of what young hoodlums can grow up to be ... and why we shouldn't give up on even "hopeless" kids.

Yeah, the movie did run a bit long, but I was so glad I stuck with it to hear the incendiary "Flamo" talk about how one interrupter was so persistent, like a fly buzzing around his ear while he slept. In a Hollywood movie, that might have sounded bogus, but here it's so real and inspiring that your breath might just catch in your throat.

My highest recommendation - SEE IT!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AliyaD on January 7, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As a Muslim youth coordinator, I have shown this to our groups' 5 female youth leaders who were so impressed with Ameena Matthews, but also the other interrupters that were highlighted.e s They had dropped in to say Hi at my house and I asked if they wanted to watch a movie with me. They agreed and then when found out it was a documentary they moaned....however, it only took them 5 minutes to be so enthralled and they only groaned once during the film (when my phone rang and I had to pause it to take the call). Once it finished, the documentary trigged a fantastic 2 hours discussion. They're ages 18-22.

Similarly, my own family (adults and pre-teens) were so focused when I showed it to them a day later. It is a must see for everyone and a double must see for Muslim female youth who are interested in seeing a Muslim woman making a huge difference in her life and the lives of others....despite her "checkered past". Having lived and taught in Chicago when gang violence was a regular thing in the early 90s, this documentary makes the situation real to people who have never experienced such violence in their personal lives or in their communities.
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