February 17, 2012 4:44 pm
This past Valentine’s Day, on February 14th, Kartemquin’s award-winning The Interrupters premiered for American television audiences on PBS's FRONTLINE, the same day that DVD and Blu-Ray pre-orders of The Interrupters shipped out to viewers. Leading up to the 8 PM CST / 9 PM EST broadcast, ardent fans and several news organizations – including TIME and Time Out Chicago – tweeted reminders to tune in.
During the screening, fans continued to tweet enthusiastic responses to the film and its realistic, gripping treatment of violence and poverty. Among others, Hollywood actress Kristen Bell called The Interrupters one of the best documentaries she had ever seen, and Mitch Landrieu, mayor of New Orleans, advocated for the film and announced the launch of a CeaseFire-inspired violence prevention program for his home city.
Following the broadcast, a live online chat moderated by The New York Times‘s Jason DeParle featured discussion between directors Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz, as well as violence interrupters Ameena Matthews (named Chicago’s “Person of the Year” by the Chicago Tribune) and Eddie Bocanegra. Over 900 people dialed in to get an insider’s look at the making of The Interrupters. Steve and Alex took questions on producing and shooting the film even during potentially dangerous situations, while Ameena and Eddie discussed the difficulties of conflict mediation and making tangible strides in their communities.
Be sure to check out the Kartemquin store and order a DVD or Blu-Ray copy of The Interrupters, hailed by Dana Stevens of Slate as “the most necessary film of the year.”An online version of the film can also be seen on the FRONTLINE web page.
More news about and reactions to the PBS broadcast of The Interrupters can be found on our Storify page.