Looking for a productive way to spend your Thursday? We recommend this evening's screening of The Interrupters, Steve James' multi-award-winning documentary about Ceasefire, a gang intervention group in Chicago whose members mostly came up in gangs themselves. James, who also directed the 1994 basketball documentary Hoop Dreams, has been snubbed twice by the Oscars, but his new film won the prestigious Best Director prize from the Directors Guild of America. Not to mention it garnered accolades from East Bay Express film critic Kelly Vance.
The Ella Baker Center teamed up with KQED and Independent Television Service to host tonight's screening, which will include a panel discussion with Ceasefire members Ameena Matthews and Eddie Bocanegra, Youth ALIVE! intervention specialist Kyndra Simmons, California Youth Outreach leader Anthony Del Toro, and Ella Baker Center representative Abel Habtergeorgis. The idea is to draw connections between violence prevention work in Chicago, and methodologies employed here in Oakland. Should be compelling. The free event begins with a light reception at 4 p.m. Film screening happens at 5 p.m., followed by a panel discussion at 7 p.m. At Oakland Museum (1000 Oak St., Oakland). For those who can't make it, The Interrupters will also air on KQED next Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 10 p.m.
Here's the official trailer: