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Film Center Has Blockbuster with The Interrupters

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 22, 2011 10:00PM

2011_8_22_interrupters.jpg The buzz continues to build around The Interrupters. Kartemquin Films announced via its Twitter feed this afternoon the Steve James-directed, Alex Kotlowitz-produced film about CeaseFire and the "violence interrupters" who try to put a stop to the violence plaguing their South Side Chicago communities has become the highest grossing film in the history of the Gene Siskel Film Center.

Tickets for added screenings are being swept up by filmgoers as soon as the Film Center announces the dates (the latest are 9:15 p.m. Wednesday and 7 p.m. Aug. 28). Roger Ebert called The Interrupters James's "most important film, telling the story of ex-convicts who go daily into the streets of Chicago to try to talk gang members out of shooting at one another."

Slate's Dana Stevens called The Interrupters "the most necessary film of the year."

(I)f you go to the movies in search of emotion rather than edification, don't let that word necessary deter you, because this is also one of the most engaging films you'll see this year, full of vibrant, complex real-life characters whose troubles and joys will stay with you long after the movie's done.

Andrea Gronvall's capsule review in the Reader says the film is "searing in its depiction of at-risk children in poor communities, the film is also the bracing, life-affirming story of residents who are beginning to reclaim their streets, one corner at a time." Tribune film critic Michael Phillips wrote in his review, "In some ways this is a richer portrait of Chicago, race, class and sociology than the same filmmaking team's beloved Hoop Dreams."

Once again, we implore you to read Steven's interviews with Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz if you haven't already. Or read them again if you have.