"What can I do?" Get Political, says Steve James

Tonight on The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, Ameena Matthews of The Interrupters will be the guest of Stephen Colbert in what promises to be an unmissable and fun interview. Ameena will be promoting the film's February 14th broadcast on Frontline PBS.


Time Out Chicago talks of a "Colbert Bump" as being perhaps better than an Oscar nomination (We'll wait to see, though we definitely agree with their questioning of "why Jon Stewart hasn't booked Flamo"?). The Chicago Sun-Times, Chicagoist, Madison.com, and many other fans on Twitter have all also expressed their gleeful anticipation of the show. Don't miss it.


While the exposure for the film will be wonderful, many of the viewers may find themselves asking the question we've often heard over the past year: "What can I do to help?" In a great new interview with Guernica magazine, The Interrupters director Steve James offers some ideas, stating:

"There’s all kinds of ways people can help. Get political. If you’re in a position in which you have influence either through voting or connections to people who make policy, speak up. You can make donations to CeaseFire or organizations like it because it’s important work and is always underfunded. You can volunteer to be mentor. You see mentoring going on with Ameena, Eddie, and Cobe, but you don’t have to be from that community to be a mentor of value. In fact, if you’re not from that community, you can be more valuable in some respects because you can expose children to a wider world of possibility and connections. There’s a lot of ways. I’m not someone who gives prescriptives at the end of my films. This is the closest to an issue-oriented film I’ve ever made. You don’t have to be an interrupter. You have to be a special person to do that kind of work, but there are other ways."


Here's someone who got political. Watch this new video (filmed by Steve James for the Film Independent Spirit Awards) of Ameena Matthews and Tio Hardiman being moved to tears after meeting Angela Davis, the legendary Black Panther activist and community organizer. The Interrupters is a Best Documentary nominee for the Spirit Awards, announced on February 24th.


Kartemquin's own focus has been on ensuring the communities most affected by violence, and especially the youth audience, see the film. As our Communications Manager Tim Horsburgh states in a Medill Chicago article about a recent local school screening: "They’re as important to us as the TV broadcasts."


For details on more upcoming free screenings in Chicago and beyond, or to arrange your own, visit www.theinterrupters.com.