We recently watched a show on Frontline (PBS) called The Interrupters. This two hour long documentary follows several “Interrupters” as they attempt to peacefully resolve conflict in their oftentimes violent neighborhoods in Chicago. The group of Interrupters is a mix of the young and the not-so-young, women and men, single and married. They represent multiple different races and cultures. All of them come from very difficult backgrounds and circumstances–between them, they’ve spent hundreds of years in prison for drug offenses, burglary, murder, and many other types of crimes. Most are ex-gang members. Some have been Interrupters for years and others were released from prison more recently and are just starting their journeys as Interrupters. All of them have found new life and new purpose in their role as Interrupters.
Too often, we’re told that the only way to confront violence is with more violence. One quick look at any online news source these days will show that this premise is usually the default option at all levels of society. This documentary may challenge you to think differently. You can watch the documentary online here.
*Disclaimer: There are two versions available to watch online, the “Graphic Language” version and the “Broadcast” version. Neither is appropriate for young children, due to language and violence. The “Graphic Language” version would probably get an R rating, and the “Broadcast” version would probably get a PG-13 rating.