The Interrupters review

Admirable doc trailing one group's way of working to pacify gangs in Chicago

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Quick-fix responses to street violence get no shrift in this lengthy but immersive doc from Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and journalist Alex Kotlowitz.

The filmmakers spent 14 months with CeaseFire, “violence interrupters” who intervene in altercations between Chicago’s inner-city gangs.

Credibility being crucial, the interrupters all have law-breaking previous – an essential qualification for talking about hope for change.

The result is knuckle-biting reportage, incisive on both the causes and consequences of violence. If The Wire’s urban tapestries were real, they might look like this.

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Kevin Harley is a freelance journalist with bylines at Total Film, Radio Times, The List, and others, specializing in film and music coverage. He can most commonly be found writing movie reviews and previews at GamesRadar+.