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The Interrupters
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The Interrupters (2011) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 6 | slideshow) Videos (see all 4)
The Interrupters -- A year in the life of a Chicago non-profit whose mission is to work to resolve issues of conflict and violence.
The Interrupters -- Clip: Ameena Matthews
The Interrupters -- Clip: Duke's Funeral


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7.5/10   2,806 votes »
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Alex Kotlowitz (New York Times magazine article)
View company contact information for The Interrupters on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 August 2011 (UK) See more »
Every City Needs Its Heroes
A year in the life of a city grappling with urban violence. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
8 wins & 10 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Meaner Streets See more (14 total) »


  (in credits order)
Tio Hardiman ... Himself
Ameena Matthews ... Herself
Toya Batey ... Herself
Cobe Williams ... Himself
Gary Slutkin ... Himself
Earl Sawyer ... Himself
Bud Oliver ... Himself
Kenneth Oliver ... Himself
Caprysha Anderson ... Heraelf
Sheikh Rasheed ... Himself
Alfreda Williams ... Herself
Mildred Jones ... Herself
Mildred Williams ... Herself
Lillian 'Madea' Smith ... Herself
Rashida ... Herself
Malcolm Malik ... Himself
Bob Jackson ... Himself
Anjanette Albert ... Herself
Rhaea Albert ... Herself
Eddie Bocanegra ... Himself
Andrea Williams ... Herself
Quinn Williams ... Himself
Latrell Williams ... Himself
Qu'vonnay Williams ... Herself
Dre Williams ... Himself
Norman L. Kerr ... Himself
James 'China Joe' Lofton ... Himself
Flamo ... Himself
Rodney Hot Rod' Phillips ... Himself
Joel Sanchez ... Himself
Spencer Leak ... Himself
'Lil' Mikey' Davis ... Himself
La Shawn K. Ford ... Himself
Fernando Bocanegra ... Himself
Alex Bocanegra ... Himself
Paula Bocanegra ... Herself
Kathryn Saclarides ... Herself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Derrion Albert ... Himself (archive footage)
Richard M. Daley ... Himself (archive footage)
Arne Duncan ... Himself (archive footage)
Jeff Fort ... Himself (archive footage)
Eric Holder Jr. ... Himself (archive footage)

Jesse Jackson ... Himself (archive footage)

Directed by
Steve James 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Alex Kotlowitz  New York Times magazine article

Produced by
Raney Aronson .... series senior producer: Frontline (as Raney Aronson-Rath)
David Fanning .... executive producer: Frontline
Sally Jo Fifer .... executive producer: ITVS
Steve James .... producer
Alex Kotlowitz .... producer
Teddy Leifer .... executive producer
Justine Nagan .... executive producer
Zak Piper .... co-producer
Gordon Quinn .... executive producer
Michael Sullivan .... executive producer: Frontline, special projects (as Mike Sullivan)
Paul Taylor .... executive producer
Original Music by
Joshua Abrams 
Cinematography by
Steve James 
Film Editing by
Steve James 
Aaron Wickenden 
Production Management
Aaron Wickenden .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Richard O'Connell .... director of production: ITVS
Art Department
Damon Locks .... poster designer
Sheila Sachs .... typesetting: poster
Dan Sharkey .... graphic designer
Matt Sharkey .... graphic designer
Sound Department
Steven Aguilar .... audio post assistant
Alex Kotlowitz .... additional sound recordist
John Mathie .... additional sound recordist
Zak Piper .... sound recordist
Rich Pooler .... additional sound recordist
Risé Sanders-Weir .... audio producer (as Risé Sanders)
Martin Stebbing .... audio post assistant
Patrick Tillmann .... additional sound recordist (as Pat Tillman)
Drew Weir .... sound re-recording mixer
Camera and Electrical Department
Damon Hennessey .... additional camera
Jackson James .... additional camera
Dana Kupper .... additional camera
Zak Piper .... additional camera
Mirko Popadic .... additional camera assistant: "a" camera
Adam Singer .... additional camera
Keith Walker .... additional camera
Aaron Wickenden .... still photographer
Editorial Department
Joe Flanagan .... producer: Nolo Digital Film
Nora Gully .... assistant editor
Michael Matusek .... digital colorist: Nolo Digital Film
Elliot Rudmann .... assistant: Nolo Digital Film
Elliot Rudmann .... on-line editor
Boris Seagraves .... engineer: Nolo Digital Film
Boris Seagraves .... on-line editor
Music Department
Joshua Abrams .... music recordist
Joshua Abrams .... musician: acoustic bass, electric bass, percussion, drums, MPC, piano, Wurltzer, MS20
Jason Adasiewicz .... musician: marimba, vibes
David Boykin .... musician: bass clarinet
Linda Cohen .... music supervisor
Nicole Mitchell .... musician: flute, alto flute, bass flute
Jeff Parker .... musician: guitar
Tomeka Reid .... musician: cello
Neil Strauch .... music mixer
Neil Strauch .... music recordist
Other crew
Yvonne Afable .... bookkeeper: Kartemquin
Claire Aguilar .... vice president of programming: ITVS
Jacinta Banks .... production staff: Kartemquin Films
Ethan Barnowsky .... intern: Kartemquin
Jennifer Bjornberg .... legal council: Kartemquin Films
Jim Bracciale .... series manager: Frontline
Jessica Bradish .... intern: Kartemquin
Mia Capodilupo .... bookkeeper: Kartemquin
Ranjani Chakraborty .... intern: Kartemquin
Sonya Childress .... outreach and civic engagement
Kate Donalek .... intern: Kartemquin
Latoya Flowers .... intern: Kartemquin
Michael Foley .... intern: Kartemquin
Nick Fraccaro .... intern: Kartemquin
Kevin Fullam .... intern: Kartemquin
Brett Hanover .... intern: Kartemquin
Tristan Hanson .... intern: Kartemquin (as Tristan Steinfeld)
Emily Hart .... researcher
Tim Horsburgh .... communications manager: Kartemquin
Shelly Hubman .... translator
Dylan James .... transcriber
Peter Jaszi .... fair use consultant
Liz Kaar .... technical consultant
Ian Robertson Kibbe .... translator (as Ian Kibbe)
John Kostka .... intern: Kartemquin
Robert Labate .... legal council: Kartemquin Films
Lauren Makholm .... translator
Aaron McGrath .... transcriber
Jim Morrissette .... technical supervisor
Elizabeth Neufeld .... production staff: Kartemquin Films
Aubyn Niemi .... intern: Kartemquin
Lesley Onstott .... transcriber
Manu Pandey .... production assistant: RISE Films
Allison Pichert .... intern: Kartemquin
Brittany Piper .... transcriber
Joe Riina-Ferrie .... transcriber
Hannah Rothman .... intern: Kartemquin
Cate Ryan .... bookkeeper: Kartemquin
Dinesh Sabu .... production staff: Kartemquin Films
L. Anton Seals Jr. .... outreach and civic engagement
Robby Sexton .... transcriber
Ayesha Siddiqi .... intern: Kartemquin
Philister Sidigu .... intern: Kartemquin
Leslie Simmer .... production staff: Kartemquin Films
John Stack .... production assistant: RISE Films
Anne Stulz .... publicist
Lisa Sullivan .... contracts manager: Frontline
Emily Thomas .... intern: Kartemquin
Stanzi Vaubel .... intern: Kartemquin
Cassie Wierenga .... intern: Kartemquin
Adora Wilson-Eye .... intern: Kartemquin
Shuling Yong .... intern: Kartemquin
David Magdael .... publicist (uncredited)
Claire Aguilar .... special thanks

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:125 min
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The film is Steve James' sixth feature length collaboration with his long-time filmmaking home, the non-profit Chicago production studio Kartemquin Films, and is also his fifth feature to screen at the Sundance Film Festival.See more »
Movie Connections:
We Came To PartySee more »


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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Meaner Streets, 17 February 2012
Author: jadepietro from United States

This film is recommended.

Flowers and candles, hand-printed messages written on notebook paper tacked to makeshift shrines, all decorated with photographs of young victims. This touching memorials litter the blood-spattered streets of Chicago and are the remains of the day in The Interrupters, a powerful and disturbing documentary by the talented Steve James ( Hoop Dreams ).

His film takes the moviegoer directly into the crime-ridden neighborhoods as we meet a group of peacemakers trying to restore sanity and preaching their anti-violence message to the choir. The group is called CeaseFire and it is made up of ex-gang leaders and former convicts whose motto is Stop the Violence - Save a Life.

James directed and photographed his documentary and focuses on three interrupter and their "scared straight" strategies of tough love and reality checks. We met Cobe Williams, a former gang member and family man now whose father was killed during a street fight, Eddie Bocanegra, a young man easily impressed by the gang's image of fast cars, money, and girls who served 14 years for murder and now uses art as a method of expression and conflict mediation, and the primary spokesperson, Ameena Matthews, the daughter of a gang leader who was physically, emotionally, and sexually abused at an early age and has since let faith and family lead her away from that life-style and keep her grounded.

We also met some of those troubled teens: Caprysha, a defeated Precious type, living in a halfway house, dreaming of a better life while constantly lying and breaking her parole; Lil Mikey, released from prison and wanting to be a better role model for his siblings; and Flamo, a young man enraged with his mother and brother's arrest and wanting his own form of justice. It is impossible not to care about their people and their lives.

The film consists of interviews with gang members, families of their victims, and scenes of escalating violence. At times, The Interrupters becomes slightly repetitive in its interventions and lock-step mindset of anger and frustration. More judicious editing could have made the film even more forceful. But the passion for its compelling subject and James' craft as a filmmaker make up for those minor complaints.

The documentary gives us no easy answers as drugs, unemployment, alcohol, poverty,and guns still are a major reason for the neighborhood's ills. Politicians come and go with each election, giving lip service and promises. Yet these people and their difficult lives become the on-going problem in search of a solution, and groups like CeaseFire seem to be their only course of positive action. The Interrupters allows us to see a world that we can never fathom and acknowledge the spirit of a group of strong-willed survivors, trying to make a difference and save a life or two throughout a normal day. GRADE: B

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