You're Not Alone

Watch the short film

I first met Joakim Noah in the wake of my documentary film, The Interrupters. Joakim was a fan. As we got talking, along with Cobe Williams, one of the principals in The Interrupters, we shared stories of how profoundly the violence affected friends–and affected us.

Talk to people who have lost a loved one to the street violence and the thing that’s so striking–and unsettling–is how completely isolated they feel. Many never talk about their grief and anger. They pull inward. And yet in listening to them it’s clear that their experiences are profoundly similar–and so this video has a rather simple intent: to let people–especially young people–know they’re not alone.

Our hope is that the video will be used in schools or in after-school programs. Or that it’ll be shown to healthcare workers and to politicians. Pass it around. To borrow from Abbie Hoffman: Please steal this video.

Credits:
A Joakim Noah production
Directed by Alex Kotlowitz
Produced by Zak Piper
Edited by Ryan Buckley and Karen Weinberg

Books

Chicago is one of America’s most iconic, historic, and fascinating cities. For Alex Kotlowitz, an accidental Chicagoan, it is the perfect perch from which to peer into America’s heart.

Separated by a river, St. Joseph and Benton Harbor are two Michigan towns that are geographically close, yet worlds apart. St. Joseph is a prosperous, predominately white lakeshore community while Benton Harbor is impoverished and predominately black. When the body of Eric McGinnis, a black teenage boy from Benton Harbor, is found in the river that separates the towns, relations between the two communities grow increasingly strained as longheld misperceptions and attitudes surface. 

There Are No Children Here chronicles two years in the lives of two boys, Lafeyette and Pharoah, struggling to survive in Chicago’s Henry Horner Homes, a public housing complex disfigured by crime and neglect. 

© 2017, Alex Kotlowitz. All rights reserved