Chicago’s South and West sides are infamous for their eye-popping murder rates. Seeking to stem the scourge of crime plaguing their neighborhoods, two men—one atoning for having committed a senseless murder as a youth—create community-based self-help programs to offer mentorship and healing to young men likely to be either victims or perpetrators of gun violence. Seeking understanding rather than judgement, the film witnesses these young men doing the hard work to examine their rationales and fears, often revealing the deep trauma that feeds the cycles of violence that leave all parties damaged. The film follows program participants Shamont, Zay, Charles as they struggle to tame their past demons and, with the guidance of their mentors, face a brighter future.
With remarkable access, Academy Award® nominated documentarian Bing Liu (Minding the Gap) and Joshua Altman embed themselves with the participants of these community groups as they share their unfiltered stories with vulnerability and honesty. This urgent documentary, deftly edited by Jennifer Tiexiera (P.S. Burn This Letter, 17 Blocks) and Joe Beshenkovsky (Jane, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck) examines the human causes and costs of gun violence with sensitivity and compassion. —Karen McMullen
All These Sons is the second collaboration between Bing Liu and Joshua Altman since their Academy Award®-nominated and Emmy®-nominated documentary Minding the Gap, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival and won a Peabody Award. All These Sons is Altman’s directorial debut.