Directed by Steve James
Starring: Ameena Matthews, Jeff Fort, Cobe Williams
The winds of change blow steady yet penetrate little in Steve James’ “The Interrupters,” no matter how hard the interventionist group at the centre of this documentary about Chicago gang warfare endeavour to achieve a ceasefire. A seasonal structure sees attempts to promote peace and understanding within the city’s most poverty-stricken areas occur over the course of a single year, in which members of this community struggle with containing their aggression. As with “Hoop Dreams” James displays a valuable ability to be concessive to the characters, while also working from the inside out to facilitate the film’s real, gritty themes to best articulate their relevance in today’s national (if not global) context. “The Interrupters” is neither obvious nor preachy, and remains tremendously impacting as a cross-cultural text and seminal source for compassion.