To break, to interrupt, to cancel, to stand in violence’s way


The headline said, “6 Dead, 28 wounded in holiday weekend violence.”
Did you see that?
What did you think?
Or did you pass it by? Did you?
“We need to say something,” said a colleague who works in a part of Chicago where these are not events you just read about.
I searched online to see if there’s been a spike here and I couldn’t find an answer. Keep looking, I said. I remembered back to a few weekends ago when another list of dead and injured caught my eye and I wondered then too.
I thought about Derek Grace who talked at our We Are Not Alone-No Estamos Solos meeting recently in Bronzeville about not sitting back but speaking out and standing up.
After a close friend’s son died in random gunfire, he spent the next year doing a documentary about heroes in the hood who step forward rather than retreating in the face of this hell.
I thought about the many neighborhood marches and street corner heroes and yet this goes on. But then I checked myself. This doesn’t go on like before because there are people out there who care and who step into the middle so that the past doesn’t go on and on. Right?
I thought about the theme of The Interrupters, a documentary that tells the story of one year in the life of some of the folks who work with CeaseFire. This is the unique program that puts people who know about such things in the middle of the mayhem so they may interrupt it. Thus, the name.
What I especially like is how the documentary is being presented to the community so that there will be talk and meetings about what is happening and what can be done and maybe what one person can do.
The first of these sessions here is on Saturday, July 9th at a youth media summit, where youngsters who take part in telling the stories of theirs and our lives here will watch the documentary and then discuss it. It will take place at Columbia College at 1104 S. Wabash, 8th floor. It starts at 11 am.
It will play downtown at the Gene Siskel Film Center from Aug. 12 to 25th and then opens for a run on Aug.26th at the ICE Theaters, Chatham 14, and Lawndale 10.
Besides the youth media summit, the producers, Kartemquin Films hope to hold a similar meeting with local leaders and politicians, using their documentary to talk about solutions.
If you are writing for the ethnic news media, you might consider reviewing the movie, or getting folks who care about the issue or, better yet, folks whose lives have been touched by violence to tell you what it – the movie – does for them. I would consider the kinds of questions that come out of these meetings and the kinds of groups and individuals who step forward and who want to make their voices heard.
I would pay attention to this as the season for mayhem seems among us again so that next weekend there might be another headline last weekend’s that said 6 dead, 28 wounded in holiday weekend violence.
Did you see it?
Did you do anything?
Say anything? What did you do?
Does it matter?

Chicago release information:
12 – 25 August: Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 North State Street
26 August – September 1: ICE Theaters Chatham 14, 210 87th Street
26 August – September 1: ICE Theaters Lawndale 10, 3330 W. Roosevelt Rd

144 minutes / 1.78:1 / Dolby Digital 2.0 / In English / Not Rated /
Press kit/trailer: http://interrupters.kartemquin.com/press. Press stills: www.cinemaguild.com/downloads.

Steve



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