The Interrupters BBC4 broadcast receives stunning response

The Interrupters premiered on BBC4 this past Sunday, December 4th and generated incredible response among viewers watching that night. Statements such as the following were all over Twitter and Facebook:


“Brilliant. Inspirational. But more importantly makes me want to go and affect change.” 


“Just finished watching The Interrupters on BBC4 - remarkable film about CeaseFire IL's 'violence interrupters' in Chicago.” 


“Best film of the year. Seriously, it's incredible.”


“The Interrupters, the documentary on Channel 4, was the best, fairest and most complete explanation of inner city problems I have ever seen!”


“Devastating & inspiring.”


“Filmmaking that changes people's lives. Stunning work by Steve James.”


“A documentary by a filmmaker of great professional and personal integrity.”


“Just watched "Storyville: The Interrupters" on iPlayer. Powerful stories of changed lives, mediation, mentoring, hope, love.”


“Interrupters. I hope you know how inspirational you are & I hope you will come to the UK.”


To quote some of the reviews that came out after the BBC4 premiere, Garry McConnachie’s claims that “Steve James has directed one of the best documentaries in recent years. It's moving and powerful in equal measure. But more than that - it's inspiring.”


The film receives 9 stars out of 10 in Mark Wall’s DVD review, who states it to be “well worth a purchase.”


The Interrupters is now available on DVD and iTunes in the UK.


British culture - American too - still has within it working-class people who don't want to conform to gangs, or to finger-wagging old-school moralists. I feel I have to say, however, that British people know they're being jerks much of the time. I feel a jerk a lot of the time presenting my own ideology and unusual name, and playing ruthless verbal tennis instead of polite cricket. "Keeping it real" (which means the exact opposite) hasn't taken over just yet, though it's sweeping in like a fast-growing fungus. Like Monty Python, we can still say "Stop that! You're being very silly!". But the attraction of gangs to urban youth in London, Glasgow or Birmingham is that it's a place for ego, and Brits don't do ego nearly as much as we should. Some of the violence interrupters speak to people in a language they already know, and I can see the virtue in that. Some optimistic working-class people are looking for something fresh to get them out of the routine that makes them feel special and - dare I say it - above the common herd, but it seems that when you're in a gang, you want to be as much the same as other people around you as possible: a depressing thought - and to flatten personal ego in favour of gang-ego. So whilst I applaud anything that gets people away from gangs, it's notable that street culture sounds cool but is really conservative and all about flattening genuine (and I say genuine) egoism, and so is the cliched poverty in the street-speak that tackles gang violence. Someone really needs to say to them "Stop that. You're being very silly.". Even when it's serious.