If you’re going to try and do something about the spiraling epidemic of violence on the streets of Chicago, you better know what you’re talking about. “The Interrupters” do – all former gang members, when they gather as a group they bring 500 years of prison time to the table. As members of the experimental anti-violence programme CeaseFire, The Interrupters aim to intervene in conflicts before they explode into violence. At their heart is Ameena Matthews, an ex-gang enforcer and daughter of a notorious gang leader, she launches herself into the middle of erupting conflicts, using her rhetorical gifts to cool the hottest heads. Academy award-nominated director Steve James (Hoop Dreams and Stevie) working with acclaimed author Alex Kotlowitz follows The Interrupters for a year. He delivers an epic and ultimately uplifting film which chronicles the difficulty of breaking generational cycles of violence, and the potential for redemption which lies within every one of us.

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