In the lobby of a packed Gene Siskel Film Center, I sit down with director and producer, Steve James, producer, Alex Kotlowitz, and violence interrupter, Ameena Matthews of the film The Interrupters for Fear No Art.
In recent years, there have been a record number of deaths on the South Side of Chicago which have created national news. Under the guidance of a group called Ceasefire, started by epidemiologist, Gary Slutkin, and the work of the Violence Interrupter program, started by Tio Hardiman, an underground movement to stop the violence has started from within these communities.
Steve and Alex detail the incredible journey of filming the groundbreaking work of the violence interrupters who struggle to cease violence before it erupts on the South Side of Chicago. Ameena Matthews explains the obstacles of such work, the difficult of being filmed during critical ceasefire moments and the trust issues involved with allowing strangers to come in and film. Inspiring. Moving. Important. Check out the how this film came to be in the interview below.
The Interrupters plays at the Gene Siskel Film Center through Thursday, August 25, and opens at the I.C.E. Chatham 14 movie theater for one week starting on August 26.