Shot over the course of one year, The Interrupters are: Ameena, Cobe and Eddie, all who have stories and histories of violence and gang activity. These “violence interrupters” (their job title) use their own personal experiences and street credibility to work in the communities, interjecting where violence is prone to erupting and working with families to stop the infection and spread. Their work and their insights are informed by their own journeys, which, as each of them point out, defy characterisation.
Founded by Gary Slutkin, an epidemiologist who has worked throughout America and the world battling diseases such as cholera and AIDS, CeaseFire works on the principle that the spread of violence mimics that of infectious diseases, and so the treatment should be similar: go after the most infected, and stop the infection at its source.
Their work is fraught with moral dilemmas. They have to step between adversaries, often people they know. They need to acknowledge people’s grievances while simultaneously pulling them back from acting on them. As they venture into their communities, they confront the importance of family, the noxious nature of poverty, and the place of race. And they do it with incredible candour and directness.
Sheffield Documentary Festival, 2011 – Steve James Masterclass
Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival, 2011
Special Jury Award, Full Frame Film Festival, 2011
Audience Award for Best Documentary, Philadelphia Cinefest, 2011
Best Documentary Award, Miami International Film Festival, 2011
Best Documentary Award, Minneapolis Film Festival, 2011
True Life Fund Winner, True/False Film Festival, 2011
Audience Award, Little Rock Film Festival, 2011
Official Selection, South by Southwest Film Festival, 2011
Official Selection, Hot Docs Film Festival, 2011
Official Selection, Silverdocs Film Festival, 2011
Opening Night Film, Aspen Ideas Festival, 2011
Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz
Subscribe to our newsletter to be kept informed of the free screening date and venue