'Chicago at the Crossroad' documentary explores root causes of violence, poverty

Father Michael Pfleger hosted a special screening of Emmy-award winning documentary "Chicago at the Crossroad" Monday night at Cinema Chatham.

The feature-length film explores the root causes of violence and poverty in Chicago's most "hyper-segregated" communities.

With the summer upon us, Pfleger said understanding this history is essential to figuring out how to improve.

"We've gotta have the courage to look at the roots of this, to study them, to say 'how do we deal with them?' So that we can change the trajectory here," Pfleger said.


Brian Schodorf, who wrote and produced the film, was part of a panel discussion which took place after the screening.

"When it comes to root causes of violence, we have to look all the way back to housing segregation and 'the black belt' and restrictive housing covenants and everything that goes into that disinvestment," said Schodorf, whose effort in creating the film spanned 15 years.

"I made the film for people to better understand urban poverty and violence in Chicago and I hope it'll open some eyes for people who may not really understand why these crimes and murders take place," Schodorf added.

Father Pfleger said a new level of understanding is crucial, with a hot summer just about here.

"We have to have the conversations now. And bring it back and say what are we going to do on our blocks, in our neighborhoods, in our communities," he said.

You can watch 'Chicago at the Crossroad' on Amazon Prime, or by visiting ChicagoAtTheCrossroad.com.