Document This- Gangs, Videogames, and Rock

I have to preface this by saying that all three of these documentaries are my husband's, and I'm not sure if I would have picked out the first and second on my own to watch. But, of course, if a documentary is well-done it should be able to make anything (even pocket lint) interesting. 

The Interrupters
125 minutes 

This movie tells the story of a group from Chicago called The Interrupters who aim to work with gang members to stop violence. They work tirelessly to help with both young and old at-risk members of the community, despite the danger
it puts them in. Many of the mediators are ex-gang members themselves, giving them an advantage in understanding the psychology of the street. Despite the frustration and resistance they absolutely make a difference.

Should You Watch It? I found it really fascinating, especially as a teacher in a challenging area (nowhere near Chicago and other more violent areas, though).

King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
79 minutes 

This movie is about two men, Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell, who desperately want to be the all-time points leader for Donkey Kong. I'm not kidding. The
movie shows how each men are extremely different, and unless you don't have a heart, you'll root for Steve Wiebe from the beginning. Mitchell is cocky and arrogant, while Wiebe is a little disheartened but still desperate to succeed at something in life. I won't tell you who wins. 

Should You Watch It? I thought it was a well-done movie that captured the drama of the competition scene while still poking a little bit of fun at it. My students watched it this week and their opinions fluctuated, liking it in the beginning and then finally at the end (they're just mad they don't get to talk all period).

Sound City
108 minutes

I have to preface this one with a warning: don't have a few cocktails and then watch this with easy access to iTunes. I know I downloaded some Tom Petty,
Fleetwood Mac, and Alanis Morisette, but who knows what else (the email receipts are still coming in). Anyway, this documentary is done by Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters and tells the story of a legendary studio in the San Fernando Valley called Sound City. It interviews countless rock musicians about their time there, as well as the people that ran it. The music was great, the people were interesting, and Dave Grohl is great.

Should You Watch It? If you're a fan of classic rock especially then yes. 


  1. I love documentaries. They are so random in topic but facinating at the same time. Just watched one about the art of manliness called Mansome. It was Sergio's pick but it was pretty interesting.

    Homeboy Industries is the LA equivalent to The Interrupters. Such amazing work that they do.

  2. I have actually seen Fistful of Quarters. I also really liked it. They managed to create a great narrative, and I found it really interesting. Good music in that one, too!

    I haven't seen Interrupters, but I'd like to. I was just recently listening to a "This American Life" podcast about a really bad neighborhood in Chicago and a particular school there. It made me count my lucky stars that I didn't work there or go to school there myself, but it also left me wishing more could be done. It's a losing situation right now and terribly sad, especially for the kids who are just unfortunate enough to go live in that area with no other options.