Chicago - Survival in the Shadows | DocFilm | DW | 12.07.2019
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Chicago - Survival in the Shadows

Eleven dead and 70 injured: the result of a deadly weekend in Chicago. The city has experienced an explosion of violence in the last two years, with 650 more people killed in shootings there than the US’s two biggest cities combined: Los Angeles and New York. Young black men are the main victims of this endless cycle of gang crime, illegal weapons and social problems.

Watch video 42:36

In Chicago's crime-ridden districts such as Southside and Englewood, children and other innocent bystanders repeatedly get caught up in the violence. It is a dark parallel world to the otherwise shining city. The predominantly Afro-American inhabitants of these neighborhoods live with the danger every day - but are not prepared to stand idly by. The author of this film meets residents who are committed to improving their city, including former gang leader Booney McFowler, crime reporter Paul Lapointe and Raydell Lacey, who has lost both her daughter and a grandson to the violence. Retired carpenter Greg Zanis makes a cross for each of those killed - both as a tribute and a consolation for their families. He has been doing this for 22 years and simply can't keep up with the death toll: "Gun violence is an American cancer," he says.