The Interrupters Movie Review - Humanity and Peace

The Interrupters

The Devastating Documentary

The Interrupters is a passionate film about the prevalence of crime in Chicago. In the documentary, Steve James followed two black teenagers who are from Chicago’s South Side for 5 years where they tried to turn their lives around from being skilled basketball players. The context of the film is 50 years after the election of Jack Kennedy and Lyndon creates an extraordinarily depressing tone. The documentary is a thrill ride of a drama that exploits the deep emotions of these kids.

It is intensely depressing and disturbing, yet beckons hope for the young aspiring youth of Chicago. The film emphasizes the courageous work of Hardiman and three fellow interrupters who search for redemption through their brave work for CeaseFire.

The other interrupters include Eddie Bocanergra, Ricardo Williams, and Ameena Matthews. Eddie Bocanergra is a talented painter who was sentenced to 14 years in prison for murder. Ricardo Williams had a history with drug related offenses such as having been sentenced 3 times due to drugs.

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Ameena Matthews is a rather dubious girl who is the daughter of an infamous criminal. She later married a man of a mosque and community center on Chicago’s South Side. The documentary observed them for over a year, working diligently on individual cases. They experienced unfortunate setbacks which led to little success. However, they never lost faith in the cause. Overall the film shatters expectations through heart-wrenching storytelling and abrasive visuals. It will be hard to move on emotionally from such a daring film.

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Penn State proposes an interesting theory that discusses about Applying Strain theory to the Crime Epidemic in Chicago. According to the Chicago Police Department (2017), “27,719 violent crimes had been reported within the past 12 months, which included 705 homicides.

The gist of this theory is that something/someone in a person’s life causes intense strain which causes them to commit violent crime in order to alleviate strain” (Agnew, 2001). This proposal seems to be right on target according to the documentary. Much too often people are pushed to the criminal extreme due to circumstances that are out of their control. Whether it being Chicago or New York City, people across the globe are driven to take extreme measure due to not only their circumstances, but their environment. If there is an overbearing criminal underbelly in an individual’s city, they will be much more likely to fall into criminality than if they were born into a city with a less prevalent criminal underbelly. Another detrimental factor is the magnitude of the strain. This refers to the impact of the crime in comparison to the consequences of not committing that crime. Essentially, a person’s monetary status can influence how much they will be affected by the crime.

If a relatively poor person is robbed they will be more drastically affected by the robbery than a richer person. On pen and paper this seems sound, but in real life application things are not so black and white. The value of the money or goods being stolen could much more drastically affect a richer person than a poorer person. It really depends on the individual in question how is being robbed. Another important factor could be their geographical location. Someone being robbed in a rural area may be more intensely affected than someone being robbed in an urban area. Other than the person being robbed the criminal themselves also plays a huge role in the crime. Overall the number of factors is nearly astronomical. Unfortunately, human nature causes people to ignore or simply give up on identifying and understanding these issues. The Social Disorganization theory uses elevated levels of economic struggle and criminal activity to explain crime rates in areas such as Chicago (Long E. D. 2017). In inner city areas where crime is already present, inhabitants have a high tendency to become desensitized to violence and crime, even beginning to participate in these activities. In many areas, as seen in Chicago, “criminal culture” can take over and be viewed upon as the social norm and encourage deviant behavior among residents.

Expanding deeper into sub-theories within the Social Disorganization theory, you have the Differential Association theory. This sub-theory argues that crime is more prevalent where gangs and heavy crime are given more social credibility than anti-crime associations. This can be accounted to peer groups and the views which are held by fellow residents and pressured upon other residents. Another theory, the Social Learning theory, argues that delinquency is a learned behavior. This is amplified when early delinquent behavior is not punished but rather tolerated and rewarded. A rather interesting aspect to this theory are the genetic implications. Perhaps criminal/deviant behavior is genetically passed on from generation to generation. The first example that comes to mind would be the African American crime statistic. African Americans roughly make up 13% of the population and account for about 50% of violent crime. People theorize that it is the mistreatment of African Americans that cause them to be responsible for such a huge percentage of violent crime. Others speculate that poor African Americans are socially forced to resort to crime due to discrimination and dire situations. This also proposes that racism has an important role in violent crime. Perhaps the reason for so many African American convictions are due to racist ideologies being carried out through the law, Unfortunately, it will take time to heal such wounds.

In conclusion, the points and factors brought up by The Interruptors will forever be prevalent in American history. The forever evolving world of criminology will never cease to victimize and distort cities. The sad but true reality of the situation is that discrimination will forever reign as a dominating factor in American crime. The ways of combating these issues are still to this day not all too clear. Perhaps the urbanization of the United States need to be halted in order to prevent the growth of violent crime. Perhaps children in high violent crime areas need to be escorted out of their homes and moved into less violent areas. Such drastic measures are needed in order to preserve the youth from falling into the trap of violent crime. Although, maybe biological/genetic aspects will dictate that some individuals are forever doomed to succumb to such criminal tendencies. Such issues highlight the conflicts that plague humanity. The question that will prevail throughout human history is that whether or not it is worth sacrificing free will in order to achieve peace. For when freewill is sacrificed in order to maintain peace, humanity will forever be lost.

Perhaps it is best that these issues are allowed to exist in order to preserve the best interests of humanity. As far as what people can do right now, the best course of action may to be active in current political issues. Being concerned and involved with the world and its inhabitants may be vital in preserving humanity. Crime itself is a result of freewill. Sociologists have theorized that crime itself is a sign that society in some way is function. People committing deviant acts in itself is a vital component of society. If there were no people committing and supporting heinous acts, then there would be no moral outlook. For there to be good, there must be an example of what bad is. Nevertheless, the future of humanity depends upon the actions and beliefs of the youth. Guiding and nurturing them is the best immediate course of action to take to guarantee and promising future.

Works Cited Page

  1. Long, E. D. (2017). Act for Libraries. Retrieved April 23, 2018, from http://www.actforlibraries.org/
  2. Agnew, R. (2017, March 15). PSYCH 424 blog. Retrieved April 23, 2018, from http://sites.psu.edu/aspsy/2017/03/15/applying-strain-theory-to-the-crime-epidemic-in-chicago/

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The Interrupters Movie Review - Humanity and Peace. (2022, May 05). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/the-interrupters-movie-review-humanity-and-peace-essay

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