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By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

DVD, Blu-ray, and Television Launches of Award-Winning Chicago Documentary The Interrupters

Star Ameena Matthews to appear on The Colbert Report

Kartemquin Films has produced independent documentary films in Chicago since 1966. We’re pleased to announce the February 14th DVD, Blu-ray and US television premieres of our film The Interrupters, the Chicago Film Critics Association’s “Best Documentary of 2011.”

PBS will release the DVD and Blu-ray editions of The Interrupters on Feb. 14. That same evening, PBS FRONLTINE will air the television premiere of The Interrupters at 9p.m. EST / 8p.m. CST.

Chicago’s WTTW will host a roundtable discussion immediately following the Feb. 14 broadcast, featuring violence interrupters Ameena Mathews, Cobe Williams Eddie Bocanegra and Director for CeaseFire Illinois Tio Hardiman.

Ameena Matthews, one of the stars of the film – awarded “Chicagoan of the Year in Film” by the Chicago Tribune and ranked as one of TIME’s “Top 10 film performances of the year” – will be featured on The Colbert Report Wednesday, February 1, at 11:30p.m. EST / 10:30pm CST on Comedy Central.

Colbert’s on-air persona is known to put his guests in the hot seat, but Matthews is no stranger to pressure. “I’m so excited,” she says. “I just hope I won’t need to kick his ass!”

In celebration of Kartemquin’s first-ever Blu-ray release, pre-orders for The Interrupters are available at a 20% discount through the Kartemquin’s store. Randomly selected pre-order purchasers will also receive posters signed by cast members and producers.

The Interrupters was released in 2011 to far-reaching acclaim both within the city and around the world, and cited as one of the best films of the year by Village Voice, IndieWIRE, Chicago Sun-Times, Boston Globe, Slate, and The New Yorker.

The Interrupters’ director Steve James will attend the Director’s Guild of America awards this Saturday as a nominee for Best Documentary. Most recently, the film won Best Film and Best Director at the Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking. When it screened at the Gene Siskel Film Center in August, The Interrupters became the biggest box office success in the venue’s 40-year history.

In 2008, Chicago received national coverage for its increasing levels of violence. The Interrupters follows three “violence interrupters,” who attempt to stop disease of violence at its core. Ameena Matthews, Cobe Williams, and Eddie Bocanegra work with troubled Chicagoans whose stories capture the traumas of violence, poverty, families, and race relations in a city fraught with tension. The Chicago Tribune called the film “Chicago to the bone yet universal in its implications.”

The Music Box Theatre presents a special screening of The Interrupters on Sunday, February 19, along with Barbara Kopple’s 1976 documentary Harlan County USA, which depicts a lengthy coal miners’ strike in rural Kentucky. The Interrupters producer-director Steve James will appear for a post-film discussion with author Robert Elder, for the third installment of “The Film That Changed My Life” series. 

Kartemquin Films is a home for independent media makers who seek to create social change through film. This Chicago-based documentary powerhouse has won every major critical and journalistic prize, including an Emmy, a Peabody and an Oscar nomination. With seven new films in progress, Kartemquin is building on more than 45 years of history as Chicago’s documentary powerhouse. www.kartemquin.com

@Kartemquin

@TheInterrupters

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CATHERINE LACEY: Do you think that your writer DNA was sort of shaped by how your family was displaced by the Nazi regime before you were born?
RENATA ADLER: It’s funny that you should mention that because I think it affects a lot else, specifically being a refugee. I wasn’t born there. I didn’t experience any of it. But they were refugees. So then I was thinking of this business of being a refugee, no matter in what sense.

Prenatal refugee.
Prenatal refugee and actually postnatal refugee. And I thought there are probably things in common between being a child and being a refugee and being an anthropologist.

It gives you a sense of curiosity.
But also a complete displacement. You’ve got to read the situation. You’re the new kid in school all the time. But I wasn’t aware of it then. I’m aware of it now because language affects you differently, or not. But I used to talk to Mike Nichols about it because he was a refugee. Do you envision an audience when you write? Do you envision a particular person? 

No.
Every once in a while I think: Now, what would Mike say to that?

There’s that idea that when you’re blocked, you can always just write as if it was a letter to one specific person.
Oh, that’s good. That’s a wonderful idea. Mine is more in terms of criticism. If someone was to say, “I know what that is. Do you really want to do that?” But anyway, about Mike and his attitude toward language, I remember him saying—it was a question of whether something written was fresh or not—and he would ask, “Why not smell it?” Which, from an English speaker’s point of view, is hysterical.

~ Renata Adler and Catherine Lacey In Conversation 

“Oh it was just hellish. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me. It would be stupid for me to say that I didn’t know what I was getting into. It has taken me five years to decide on a first film and I always held out for something like this. The lesson to be learned is that you can’t take on an enterprise of this size and scope if you don’t have a movie like The Terminator or Jaws behind you. Because when everybody’s wringing their handkerchiefs and sweating and puking blood over the money, it’s very nice to be able to say, ‘This is the guy who directed the biggest grossing movie of all time, sit down, shut up and feel lucky that you’ve got him.’ It’s another thing when you are there and you’re going ‘Trust me, this is really what I believe in,’ and they turn round and say ‘Well, who the hell is this guy?’ If I make ten shitty movies, I’ll deserve the flak and if I go on to make 10 great ones, this’ll probably be looked upon as my first bungled masterpiece.”
~ David Fincher, 1992

 

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