Presenting The Interrupters Community Discussion Guide

Awards season may have ended for The Interrupters, so now on to the really important stuff: the film’s outreach campaign is just starting to heat up.  Now available for community screenings, schools, Interrupters House Parties and for all Interrupters outreach events is The Interrupters Community Discussion Guide (PDF download).


Created for Kartemquin by The Interrupters Community Engagement Media Consultants Sonya Childress and L. Anton Seals Jr., the guide is designed to engage audiences and communities – young people in particular - in reflection and discussion around the issues in the film. Whether you use excerpts or the entire film, your screening can be a springboard for dialogue or the centerpiece of a strategic community action plan around violence. While there are many ways to use the film, you might use a screening to:


• Highlight successful examples of local violence prevention efforts

• Help audiences explore the historical context and root causes of urban violence

• Brainstorm creative approaches for interrupting the cycle of retaliatory violence

• Encourage young people to reflect on the choices they make and their role as change-agents in their communities


The guide features:

  • Character Profiles
  • Discussion Questions
  • Statistics on violence, resources on violence prevention
  • Suggestions on "5 Things You Can Do Today" to help interrupt violence

The creation of the guide was funded by generous grants from the Bertha Foundation, the Fledgling Fund and ITVS - The Independent Television Service.


We encourage you to use this free Community Resource Guide as a tool to help you craft screening events using the powerful stories in the film. We have included discussion questions, background reading, resource organizations, sample exercises and practical ways to take action. We hope that these resources help you to develop productive and meaningful events, build relationships with new organizations, and engage those directly impacted by violence and those eager to make a difference. You may also want to use the guide in conjunction with, our new interactive outreach website for the film.


I wish people would keep reminding youth that if they are reacting violently to something said or done - they are being controlled by the other person. If someone calls a name and the person reacts by shooting and then goes to jail - the perpetrator knew how to control them. The shooter did not take charge of his fate. The person calling names was in charge. It is infuriating to think someone you don't respect is controlling you. I'd like the counselors to have a picture of each person and show them 3 scenarios. Use some computer aging technology and show the youth now, then midlife and then old age. With one scenario show them middle aged with a spouse and 2 kids, laughing, decent house and then show old age with grandkids and comfort. Then show middle age and old age in jail or strung out. Then show current picture and just middle age pic and old age pic with no other details. Show them how things could go good or go bad and show an unknown future (their own dreams). It's all about their choices.