FRONTLINE Presents the Television Premiere of
the Critically Acclaimed Documentary THE INTERRUPTERS
Airs Tuesday, February 14, 2012, from 8 to 10 P.M. on WTVP-HD
During one weekend in 2008, 37 people were shot in
Chicago, seven of them fatally. It was the year Chicago became the emblem of America’s inner-city violence and
On Feb. 14, FRONTLINE
presents the television premiere of the award-winning documentary
the moving story of three dedicated “violence interrupters”—Ameena Matthews, Cobe Williams and Eddie Bocanegra—who,
with bravado, humility and even humor, work to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they themselves
once employed. Their work and their insights are informed by their own journeys, which, as each of them points out,
defy easy characterization.
From acclaimed producer-director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and best-selling
author-turned-producer Alex Kotlowitz (There Are No Children Here), The Interrupters is an
unusually intimate journey into the stubborn persistence of violence in our cities. The New York Times says
the film “has put a face to a raging epidemic and an unforgivable American tragedy.”
The interrupters work for an innovative organization, CeaseFire, which is the brainchild of
epidemiologist Gary Slutkin, who for 10 years battled the spread of cholera and AIDS in Africa. Slutkin believes
that the spread of violence mimics that of infectious diseases, and so the treatment should be similar: go after
the most infected, and stop the infection at its source.
Shot over the course of a year out of Kartemquin Films in Chicago, The Interrupters
follows Ameena, Eddie and Cobe as they attempt to intervene in situations before those situations turn violent:
two brothers threatening to shoot each other; an angry teenage girl just home from prison; a young man heading down
a warpath of revenge. The film captures not only the interrupters’ work, but reveals their own inspired journeys
from crime to hope and, ultimately, redemption. As they venture into their communities, they confront the importance
of family, the noxious nature of poverty and the place of race. And they do it with incredible candor and directness.
is a Kartemquin Films production for WGBH/FRONTLINE and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) in association
with RISE Films. The producers are Alex Kotlowitz and Steve James. The director is Steve James. The co-producer
is Zak Piper. The executive producers are Justine Nagan, Gordon Quinn, Teddy Leifer and Paul Taylor. The executive
producer for ITVS is Sally Jo Fifer. The executive producer for special projects for FRONTLINE is Michael Sullivan.
The series senior producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath. The executive producer of FRONTLINE is David Fanning.
is produced by WGBH Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the
support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided
by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and by Reva and David Logan. Additional funding is provided
by the Park Foundation and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund. Additional funding for The Interrupters is provided by The
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund, and The Richard H. Driehaus
Foundation. FRONTLINE is closed-captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers and described for people who are
blind or visually impaired by the Media Access Group at WGBH. FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of WGBH Educational
For further information contact Linda Miller, WTVP Vice President of
at (309) 495-0591 or firstname.lastname@example.org