The murder rate in Chicago is equal to that of New York and Los Angeles combined. The disease of gun violence appears to be as intractable as it is infectious. It’s an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
All These Sons is about two community projects in the Black neighborhoods of West and South Chicago, set up to break this vicious cycle, focusing on young people in danger of becoming the victims or perpetrators of gun violence. Filmmakers Bing Liu—director of the award-winning autobiographical documentary Minding the Gap (2018)—and Joshua Altman were able to get access to these often traumatized people with remarkable ease.
One of the projects is run by a charismatic preacher’s son, Marshall Hatch Jr., the other by the empathetic Billy Moore, now in his 50s, who once shot someone himself. They show their mentees how to envision a different version of themselves, to see a different reality, and to dream of an alternative future as they come to terms with themselves. We feel profound empathy for them and their mentors through this moving, enraging, and hopeful film.