The Curzon Soho screening of Steve James’ doc was plunged into darkness last night….

As violence escalated in London last night I was watching another powerful story of disaffection and spiralling violence, Steve James’ Sundance hit and Sheffield Doc/ Fest winner, The Interrupters.

The tragic story of gun violence among disaffected youth in Chicago was riveting and shocking in equal measure. As ever, James came at his subject intelligently and painted a deeply moving picture, alive with a cast of compelling and brave characters. However, the audience were only treated to the first half of the documentary as the Curzon Soho was plunged into darkness one hour into the busy screening.

As we filtered out onto the street, we realised we weren’t alone in our blackout as all local shops, restaurants and businesses in the area were without power.

As calls and messages came in about London’s plight, and Soho came to a standstill, James’ powerful film gained even greater relevance and its memory contributed to the surrealness of the evening.

But James, who had come all the way from the States for the event, wasn’t going to be denied. Accustomed as he is to street stories, the director gave an impromptu Q&A in the sidestreet behind the cinema after the evacuation. [pictured]

For those keen to catch the second half and hear from James there is another screening scheduled this evening at the Genesis Whitechapel. Though, unfortunately, East London may not be the most appealing area in town tonight.

(Distributor Dogwoof will assess the situation later this afternoon as to whether the screening will go ahead)