One of the most-lauded documentaries of 2011, “The Interrupters” tells the moving and surprising stories of three Violence Interrupters, former criminals and gang members who now try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they once employed. Made by acclaimed director Steve James (“Hoop Dreams”) and bestselling author Alex Kotlowitz, the film is an intimate look at the stubborn persistence of violence in our cities. The film’s subjects work for an innovative organization, CeaseFire, which believes that the spread of violence mimics the spread of infectious diseases. Accordingly, they use a similar model for treatment: By intervening in conflicts before they explode into violence, the Interrupters go after the most infected and stop the disease at its source. Describing “The Interrupters” as “a hard wallop of a documentary,” the New York Times’ Manohla Dargis says the film “has put a face to a raging epidemic and an unforgivable American tragedy.” James, the recipient of SLIFF’s Maysles Brothers Lifetime Achievement Award for Documentary, also appears on Nov. 13 with his film “Stevie” at Washington University.
With director James and one of the Violence Interrupters.