I recommend The Interrupters as worthwhile viewing. It is a deeply moving film about CeaseFire, an organization that works to interrupt urban street violence in Chicago. All of the members working with this organization have a record of violence that contributed to their former incarceration. Reflecting on their own lives influenced their decision to embrace peace and to interrupt violence as they see it in the Chicago communities where they grew-up.

There are moments in the film, especially the last scenes, where the camera lingers on the quiet, contemplative faces of three of the film’s featured Interrupters that reminds me of my father. Like my father, they all seemed haunted by the ghosts of their respective pasts. Every night that I spent with my father was one where I saw him through the glow of late night television and always ready with a story of some horror he could recall from his youth. He told me once that when “you did as much wrong as I did, you don’t sleep easy.” Like the rape victim whose apartment my father inspected every night before she entered from her late night shift, the community work that the Interrupters perform represents an attempt to absolve themselves of their guilt for their often unspeakable crimes. I found myself pulling for their salvation as much as I did for the community they were trying to save.

You can watch the entire film for free by following the embedded link.

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