Great Television Made In Brooklyn

Films shed light on city’s gritty side

With the release of two documentaries that feature former hell raisers, Chicago’s dirty underbelly is on display.

That’s a good thing.

“The Interrupters,” follows ex-convicts who work for the anti-violence initiative known as CeaseFire, and opens at the Gene Siskel Film Center on Wednesday.

On Thursday at 8 p.m., OWN presents “Prostitution: Leaving the Life.” The documentary features three former prostitutes who work for the Cook County Sheriff Department trying to persuade women to leave the sex trade.

A lot has been written about CeaseFire, so much so that attempts to reduce funding for this program always meet fierce opposition from legislators whose districts are struggling to reduce gang- and drug-related crimes.

But the sex trade is often perceived as a victimless crime, and prostitutes are viewed as deserving whatever hard knocks they get because of their low morals and even lower self-esteem. That perception makes it harder for law enforcement to justify spending the resources needed to crack down on sex trafficking.

To read the rest go to Chicago Sun Times.